Full Plug-in Electric Wrangler in 2020!

BillArnett

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Another thing to consider when thinking about a pure EV (not hybrid) Jeep is that, if done right, it would be a FAR more capable off-road vehicle. Think about it: one ~100 hp motor per wheel, no engine, no transmission, no transfer case, no differentials, no gas tank, no radiator, no oil. Just 4 motors and a big battery under the floor like a Tesla (with some armor :). Super smooth EV torque (and lots of it). Torque to each wheel modulated independently by software, better than lockers on the rocks AND better on the street. Lots more ground clearance with no crap underneath to get hung up on. And no need for a snorkel :)

Range is not much of an issue even today. There are EV charging spots everywhere these days. There's even a Tesla Supercharger in Moab!

Tesla could make such a "Jeep" today if they had the manufacturing capacity (and didn't have a dozen more important things to work on). FCA could make one in a couple of years if they wanted to. I'm not holding my breath but I'll be first in line when someone does make one.
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BillyHW

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Another thing to consider when thinking about a pure EV (not hybrid) Jeep is that, if done right, it would be a FAR more capable off-road vehicle. Think about it: one ~100 hp motor per wheel, no engine, no transmission, no transfer case, no differentials, no gas tank, no radiator, no oil. Just 4 motors and a big battery under the floor like a Tesla (with some armor :). Super smooth EV torque (and lots of it). Torque to each wheel modulated independently by software, better than lockers on the rocks AND better on the street. Lots more ground clearance with no crap underneath to get hung up on. And no need for a snorkel :)

Range is not much of an issue even today. There are EV charging spots everywhere these days. There's even a Tesla Supercharger in Moab!

Tesla could make such a "Jeep" today if they had the manufacturing capacity (and didn't have a dozen more important things to work on). FCA could make one in a couple of years if they wanted to. I'm not holding my breath but I'll be first in line when someone does make one.
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aug0211

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It’s definjtely a futuristic, idealistic thought.

2020 is very, very close - we would have a LOT of ground to cover between now and the end of 2020 to realistically see a full EV Wrangler.

That said, I absolutely think it’s possible that we’ll see a full EV Wrangler (alongside more traditional fuel sources) at some point.

Is it 2.5 years away? My guess is no - but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen at all.
 

bilcol81

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You can't be serious! Are you going to carry an extra battery in your jerry can?
 

aug0211

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This is something I could see being an option used for the big percentage of Wrangler owners who are on/road ~99% of the time.

The few who use their Wranglers for true off-reading would probably continue to opt for gas options.

Or... yeah, maybe there’s a reserve battery :)
 

BillArnett

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This is something I could see being an option used for the big percentage of Wrangler owners who are on/road ~99% of the time.

The few who use their Wranglers for true off-reading would probably continue to opt for gas options.

Or... yeah, maybe there’s a reserve battery :)
That all depends on the size of the battery. IF it's the size of a Tesla battery then it would have close to 300 miles of range. That is more than sufficient for most off-road trips. Remember, a gas Jeep can't carry an infinite amount of fuel, it has some limit to its range. The interesting point is that for those trips that are short enough for the EV's range the electric drive would be much nicer.
 

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I believe it was to be a Plug-In Hybrid with the 2.0T engine. Where was the resource that i was going to be 100% EV?
 

offcamber

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Most of the places I wheel my Jeep, you can't even get cell phone coverage in. A full electric is a stupid idea that Jeep needs to abandon like square headlights, forever.
 

aug0211

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Most of the places I wheel my Jeep, you can't even get cell phone coverage in. A full electric is a stupid idea that Jeep needs to abandon like square headlights, forever.
I am curious about this. The battery option also makes me nervous - though, then I play devil’s advocate with myself and ask - how’s it any different than a gas engine? They both have ranges and when they go empty, they’re empty.

Assuming the only difference would be that the reserve tank of gas you’d carry with you would be replaced with a reserve battery indicator.

Am I missing something else?
 

BillyHW

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I am curious about this. The battery option also makes me nervous - though, then I play devil’s advocate with myself and ask - how’s it any different than a gas engine? They both have ranges and when they go empty, they’re empty.

Assuming the only difference would be that the reserve tank of gas you’d carry with you would be replaced with a reserve battery indicator.

Am I missing something else?
The energy density of batteries, by volume, by weight, and by cost, don't make electric jerry cans feasible. (It's a fun calculation if you ever want to try it.) .
 

aug0211

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The energy density of batteries, by volume, by weight, and by cost, don't make electric jerry cans feasible. (It's a fun calculation if you ever want to try it.) .
Gotcha. Honestly I think I’d be nervous even if I did have a reserve pack... just so much harder than in an absolute worst case scenario with gas, where you could have your ride buddy head to the nearest gas station to get some gas. Can’t do that with a battery pack, at least it’s not not as accessible, anyway...
 

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Boats are placing solar panels on their canopy for recharging. Those with hard tops off-road could do the same. Worse case, self charging stations can be strategically placed throughout trails. At low crawl rates the electricity used may not be significant. Thought I read there was a JK converted that could go 2.5 or so days on a single charge. Might not be for everybody but may have enough interest that it could become available for somebodies.
 

GARRIGA

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Another thing to consider when thinking about a pure EV (not hybrid) Jeep is that, if done right, it would be a FAR more capable off-road vehicle. Think about it: one ~100 hp motor per wheel, no engine, no transmission, no transfer case, no differentials, no gas tank, no radiator, no oil. Just 4 motors and a big battery under the floor like a Tesla (with some armor :). Super smooth EV torque (and lots of it). Torque to each wheel modulated independently by software, better than lockers on the rocks AND better on the street. Lots more ground clearance with no crap underneath to get hung up on. And no need for a snorkel :)

Range is not much of an issue even today. There are EV charging spots everywhere these days. There's even a Tesla Supercharger in Moab!

Tesla could make such a "Jeep" today if they had the manufacturing capacity (and didn't have a dozen more important things to work on). FCA could make one in a couple of years if they wanted to. I'm not holding my breath but I'll be first in line when someone does make one.
Biggest fear would be reinforcing the plate protecting the battery. Not sure what would happen if that made sudden contact with a large rock. Know of one Tesla that caught fire. Don't recall why but thought it was some rupture from contact.
 

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I'm of the belief that EVs are no longer a pipe dream but there are some realities that cannot be ignored.

The biggest one, of course, are issues around the battery. The range issue is over and done with IMO but there are still issues with manufacturing, costs, and practicality. Manufacturing is limited by production capacity but we can see that this is slowly being resolved by projects like the Gigafactory. However that isn't the only limiting issue in manufacturing. There is also the consideration for raw materials. Projections have been made that there simply isn't enough lithium or cobalt on Earth to build batteries for 100% electrification of cars. There are other needs for batteries as well. Tesla build a huge power storage facility in Australia and there are demands for more facilities like this. I'm planning to get a Tesla Powerwall for my home. Also, from a practicality standpoint, these batteries can be very dangerous if there is a flaw in the manufacturing process or if the battery gets damaged, either in a crash or from rough driving. Li-Ion also has limitations due to temperature conditions. Then there is the time it takes to recharge the cells. Supercharger stations certainly help make this process faster but it is still a significantly longer process filling up with Gas or Diesel.

Solid State batteries MAY be the cure all for these issues but there is still a lot of development work that has to be done there. We've seen similar promises with Super Capacitors, Carbon Nanotubes, and Graphine but none have come to fruition. Fortunately, for solid state, Honda and Toyota are teamed up to work on those issues and want to bring those to market in a few years. It's always hard to predict what technical hurdles these guys are going to run into but I wish them the best.

The uses cases for EVs are still growing. I almost pulled the trigger on a Model 3 but I held back due to Tesla's history of over promising and under delivering on their production numbers. I'll think it over again when the Model Y is introduced. Meanwhile, Tesla's about to get a lot of competition over the next few years for VW and the Japanese. My wife loves her new JL but she is drooling at the prospect of a new, electrified Microbus.
 
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