Jeep previews its all-electric Jeep, as its plug-in hybrid production model fails to meet manufacturer claims.


A fully-electric Jeep Wrangler Magneto concept has been unveiled in the US, as official figures are released disputing claims of the company’s production plug-in hybrid variant.

Jeep has chosen the upcoming annual ‘Easter Jeep Safari’ event in Utah, USA to show off its battery-powered concept – but the Wrangler has been configured in a different way to most other electric vehicles (EVs).

Using four waterproof battery packs with a combined output of 70kWh, they power an electric motor producing 213kW and 370Nm, taking the vehicle to 100km/h from a standstill in under 7 seconds.

However, the electric motor has been mated to the Wrangler’s six-speed manual transmission, with the clutch operating as it would on a normal combustion-engined model.

Together with a 6000rpm redline, Jeep has engineered the system so that when the clutch is depressed by the driver, the regeneration cycle is engaged in the e-motor to prevent rev-hang.

Typically, EVs will have electric motors mounted directly to the wheel hubs or axles, discarding traditional mechanical gearboxes.

The system means Jeep doesn’t need to re-engineer the Wrangler’s drivetrain, keeping the standard hubs, axles, diffs, and low-range gearbox – and in doing so, maintaining the car’s off-road capability.

The concept has been fitted with a 2-inch lift, 17-inch wheels, and 35-inch mud-terrain tyres, as well as a Warn winch, underside armour, and a roll cage.

Meanwhile, Jeep’s Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid has failed to meet its claimed 40 kilometres of pure-electric driving range, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA is mandated with testing electric vehicles, and, as reported by US publication Roadshow, the agency’s final figures show an electric range of 34 kilometres – around 15 per cent less than the company’s claims.

But while the 4xe can be driven for 34km on a single charge, when driven using its 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder engine, the EPA says fuel economy is worse than the 3.6-litre petrol V6 variant – likely due to the additional weight of the battery and electric motor.

As with the company’s recently-unveiled Wrangler V8, the plug-in hybrid version remains on the wish list for Jeep’s Australian arm.