Jeep is finally taking a real shot at the electric vehicles market, and the company has pulled out all the cues fans know and love along the way. Better late than never, right?
As electric car manufacturers like Tesla continue pushing the EV market forward, traditional auto companies are playing catchup to transition some of their most recognizable models and designs to market with EV variations. Ford has the zippy Mach-E Mustang, Volkswagen turned its beloved microbus into the all-electric ID. Buzz, and now Jeep is putting an electric spin on its iconic Wrangler and Wagoneer lines.
Despite a showroom’s worth of concept vehicles, Jeep has been weirdly slow to get a full-fledged EV to market, instead opting to adapt two of its signature lines into plug-in hybrids with the Wrangler 4xe and Grand Cherokee 4xe in recent years. But all that changes now with news of the Jeep Recon, Wagnoneer “S, ” the compact Jeep Avenger (which is only slated for release in Europe at the moment) and an unnamed fourth model apparently also in the works that’ll be announced in the coming years.
Details on range, battery capacity and price haven’t been released for most of these upcoming Jeep models, though they’re expected to fall into the standard range for what owners would expect in all categories. Namely, solid capacity and range, and premium prices likely starting in that $60,000 bracket, commensurate with what Jeep fans would probably expect for a new one off the assembly line. If you’re hoping to hit the road in one of these models anytime soon, you probably shouldn’t hold your breath, as the earliest they’re expected to ship is 2024 and into 2025 (as is often the case with EVs, those dates are always liable to slip).
Easily the most intriguing entry in Jeep’s inaugural EV lineup is the Jeep Recon, a name that has been used in the past to differentiate some off-road equipped Wrangler packages. There’s probably a good reason for that, as the Recon feels like the all-electric spiritual successor to Jeep’s beloved Wrangler.
The Recon borrows several design cues from the four-door wrangler, with the boxy design, exposed door hinges, and the distinctive Jeep grille on the front. It’s arguably even boxier than the Wrangler itself, almost like an off-road, four-door Honda Element (except way cooler). It’s also modular like the Wrangler, with removable doors and roof panels that can be popped off to enjoy the great outdoors. All the off-road gear is also present and accounted for, with tow hooks, under-carriage protection and anything else you’d reasonably expect on a Wrangler spec sheet.
It also looks great, and this is clearly the rugged EV that has the potential to be Jeep’s flagship proof of concept in the market. If the final product can match the off-road bona fides, it could prove a major step forward for getting EVs out on the trails a bit more.
On the premium end of the spectrum sits the Wagoner “S,” which is reportedly still just a code name at this point. It’s your more standard high-end SUV model, putting an all-electric spin on the tried and true Wagoneer line. It also features the sleek lines and streamlined design you’ll find on pretty much every other EV line from other manufacturers. According to The Verge, Jeep is eyeing a high-end range of around 400 miles on a single charge, with a 600 hp engine capable of 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds.
Though it’s not currently slated for release in the U.S., Jeep is also lining up a slick compact SUV with the Avenger, which is easiest compared to the smaller Jeep Renegade in size and scope. To go with the smaller EV vibe, the Renegade is reported to have a target range of around 248 miles per charge, which would put it in line with other comparable compact EVs on the market. The Renegade is slated for release in Europe, though hopefully it’ll eventually find its way to North American shores down the line.
It’s hard to overestimate the significance of Jeep finally pulling the trigger on a full-fledged EV line. The company is one of the most iconic brands in the auto market, and though there are some other SUV EVs available and in the works that can try to emulate the look and vibe, they’re not Jeep. It’s a line that’s built brand loyalty for half-a-century, and is one of the most instantly recognizable silhouettes on the road. Jeep finally offering up what should be a capable, diverse line of EVs will open the market to an entirely new segment that’s simply not all that interested in the Model 3 or smaller crossovers that dominate the sales chart.
Now all they need to do is get busy installing those solar powered chargers on those remote trail heads just to make sure nobody runs out of juice on top of a mountain.