Can you imagine an all-electric future on American roadways? Automakers like GM certainly can, and that’s why the automaker announced its vision to build an all-electric future with zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion. GM’s announcement came in early 2021, along with the promise to debut 30 new electric vehicles around the world by 2025. That means searching for “new cars in stock near me” is about to get even more exciting.
GM’s announcement has been years in the making and can be likened to the green flag that starts a race. GM’s lofty plans have ignited fierce competition in the industry as other automakers jump on board. Jeep, a brand that’s known for rugged and adventurous rigs like the Wrangler, is jumping into the ring by making big changes to its lineup for 2022. So, what does an all-electric future look like for the Jeep lineup, and how will it impact your search for a new car?
Jeep’s Vision for the Future
Jeep shares GM’s vision of an all-electric future and plans to match GM step for step over the next four years to transform its lineup by 2025. Jeep announced these plans via video in July 2021 during an EV Day celebration with its parent company, Stellantis. While GM is cornering the market with its Ultium battery platform, the video shows that Jeep is looking to solar power, biometric technology, peer-to-peer charging, and autonomous driving.
We’re already seeing the use of solar power as Jeep rolls out solar charging stations around the nation. As for biometric technology, Jeep teases a future where you can start, unlock, and lock your Jeep using the same facial recognition technology that unlocks your smartphone. Jeep also envisions a future where EVs can charge one another in peer-to-peer charging when there isn’t a solar or traditional charging station available. When it comes to autonomous driving, Jeep is looking further into the future to a time when any Jeep can safely navigate the road or trail without intervention from you in the driver’s seat.
Jeep’s Electric Lineup: 2021 Wrangler 4xe
Months before releasing the EV Day video, Jeep was already on board the EV craze with the debut of the all-new 2021 Wrangler 4xe. The 4xe is designed to forge a new path into an all-electric future and is the first-ever plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that offers an immersive, open-air driving experience. But don’t discount its hybrid powertrain as a lack of Jeep’s iconic and rugged capability.
The 4xe is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo engine and a 17-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that works with an 8-speed automatic transmission to deliver 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of instantaneous torque. The battery pack is responsible for delivering instant torque to each wheel, making the Wrangler 4xe more powerful, more capable, and more responsive than ever before. That’s apparent in its 6-second launch from 0 to 60 mph and in its ability to crawl over rocks or ford streams up to 30 inches deep without breaking a sweat.
Big adventures like these can drain the battery quickly, even with the 4xe’s impressive 21-mile electric range and 370-mile total driving range. This is why you’ll find the 4xe offers various driving modes – Hybrid, Electric, and ESave – as well as regenerative braking. The 4xe defaults to Hybrid mode, which means it relies on power from the battery pack and the engine to maximize power, torque, and acceleration. Electric mode relies solely on the battery for up to 21 miles and maximizes efficiency while reducing emissions. ESave mode prioritizes the gasoline engine to preserve the battery’s charge and can shut off the engine when the demand for power is low. You can also use regenerative braking to conserve energy since the tool charges the battery when the Wrangler slows or brakes.
So, what happens when you need to charge the 4xe? Jeep knows that charging an EV can be stressful, which is why the automaker partnered with Electrify America to build a nationwide 4xe charging network. Complimentary for 4xe drivers to use, the stations are both solar and electric powered, which means you can quickly top off the 4xe’s battery and get back on the trail. When you’re at home, you can charge the 4xe with a standard household outlet using a Level I (120-volt) system charger, or you can charge the 4xe even faster using a Level II (240-volt) charger.
Jeep’s electric future looks promising thanks to models like the 2022 Grand Cherokee 4xe and Grand Cherokee L 4xe. The 4xe designation implies it will have a hybrid powertrain, which will likely mirror that of the Wrangler 4xe. The teams over at Car and Driver and MotorTrend project the Grand Cherokee 4xe hybrid horsepower to overshadow the gas-powered 5.7-liter V8 and deliver 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of instant torque to make the SUV just as capable and nimble as its adventurous counterparts in the lineup.
With the 2021 announcement of the Wagoneer brand and the reintroduction of the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer SUVs, you can expect these premium SUVs to receive the 4xe treatment in the future as well. For now, Jeep hasn’t released any details on when this will happen, but it’s expected as more drivers pivot to an all-electric future.
Another exciting option that you might see in your search for new vehicles in stock is the Wrangler Magneto. What makes the Magento unique? Jeep’s goal is to usher in an all-electric future without compromising the performances of its rugged and adventure-ready vehicles. In most cases, electric powertrains rely solely on automatic transmissions, but not for long. The Wrangler Magneto is a concept model that pairs an electric powertrain with a manual transmission for better performance and handling off-road.
Jeep replaces the Wrangler’s award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine with a low-speed electric motor that produces 285 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, which is vastly similar to that of the V6. The electric motor powers the transmission through a pedal-operated clutch, and the powertrain responds just like the V6 engine, which makes the Magneto quicker to accelerate than any V6-powered Wrangler thanks to the battery’s instant power and torque. In terms of time, the Magento can launch from 0 to 60 mph in an estimated 6.8 seconds compared to a traditional Wrangler that takes a leisurely 7.4 seconds.
What It Means for You
What does an all-electric future look like for you? Do you currently drive an EV, or can you see yourself behind the wheel of the Wrangler 4xe or the Grand Cherokee 4xe? Whether there’s an EV in your garage or you’re hesitant to jump on the bandwagon, there’s no question that the industry is turning its attention to electric power, and that’s dramatically impacting what we drive and how we drive. In turn, it will soon affect your search for new cars in stock as more automakers add EVs to their lineups.
Automakers like GM and Jeep are leading the way in the segment of EVs and prove that you shouldn’t discount an EV simply because you plug it in rather than fill its tank. Models like the Wrangler 4xe prove that EVs can deliver more power than gas-guzzling engines, and that translates to even more capability and prowess both on and off the road. And, as you very well know, more capability is a breeding ground for adventure, which is the foundation of the Jeep brand and the spirit of American drivers from coast to coast.