Electric Jeep Wrangler concept due for March debut, serious off-road ability

Jeep has been teasing for some time that an all-electric version of its iconic off-roader, the Wrangler, is on the way; and it recently shared information about where and when such a model will debut.  The brand said on its “The Road Ahead” page that it will reveal a 100% battery powered Wrangler BEV concept […]

Jeep has been teasing for some time that an all-electric version of its iconic off-roader, the Wrangler, is on the way; and it recently shared information about where and when such a model will debut. 

The brand said on its “The Road Ahead” page that it will reveal a 100% battery powered Wrangler BEV concept as part of a group of concepts to be revealed March 27 at the Easter Jeep Safari, at Moab, Utah.

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe

Jeep wouldn’t be revealing the concept at Moab, a haven for the most dedicated off-roaders, if it weren’t capable of some level of rock-crawling. Last year its global president, Christian Meunier, hinted that the electric version might be even more capable. The executive also told Car and Driver last year that it would be bringing “as many electric Jeeps as it can” to the U.S.

An odd point to emphasize based on this schematic is that it appears Jeep didn’t opt to place stout drive motors at both axles. The electric Wrangler appears to still rely on a series of transmissions or gearboxes to deliver power to the front and rear wheels individually. It also appears to use a multi-pack battery strategy—for packaging, perhaps. Simply put, there’s no way Jeep could have built what the Wrangler currently is and is capable of over a skateboard platform. 

Teaser for battery-electric Jeep Wrangler concept

Teaser for battery-electric Jeep Wrangler concept

Also, based on the propulsion architecture shown, Jeep is demonstrating how it doesn’t need a long wheelbase to fit enough battery cells for a usable long-range electric vehicle. It appears to be installed in a standard two-door Wrangler—although we just might have to wait until March 27 to see how the rest of the vehicle looks. 

The brand already has a plug-in model—the 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid, which offers a 17.3-kwh battery pack and primary propulsion motor to the 2.0-liter turbo-4 engine. That model allows up to 25 miles all-electric. 

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe

Jeep already has big plans to electrify off-roading with the Wrangler 4xe. It announced last year that it plans to build solar-powered chargers on some of its most popular off-road trails, so as to allow owners of the Wrangler 4xe—and perhaps the electric Wrangler—to experience quiet, all-electric off-roading.