The new Jeep Wrangler 4xe (hybrid) just hit the streets last December, but there is already a lot of buzz about a possible all-electric Jeep Wrangler.
This year’s annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah was held at the beginning of April. The company often likes to shock Jeep lovers with new ideas and innovations during this fun event, and this year did not disappoint!
Jeep unveiled a concept vehicle called the Jeep Wrangler Magneto EV—an all-electric vehicle with a manual transmission.
In case you’re thinking an EV Jeep may not perform like a gas-powered one, Jeep said that they will make sure it does—or even better. In fact, the Jeep Wrangler Magneto can reportedly hit 60 mph in 6.8 seconds. Comparatively, a standard Jeep Wrangler V-6 goes from 0 to 60 in about 7.4 seconds.
This all-electric Jeep Wrangler also supposedly has the same horsepower and greater torque than a gas-powered Wrangler.
The Magneto concept has 4 lithium-ion battery packs that are spread throughout the Jeep—2 where the fuel tank would be, one under the hood, and one under the cargo area. Together, these 4 batteries deliver 70kWh.
And in case you were wondering about trekking through water with all those batteries, Jeep plans to encase them with waterproof covers so you can still roll through up to 30 inches of water. It’s an off-roader’s dream!
Of course, one of the issues with all-electric off-road vehicles is that they don’t last for hours and hours without a recharge. But then again, if you drive your Jeep into the wilderness and park it to explore, you could make the batteries last for days.
Based on the test driving reports so far, the Magneto handles rough terrain like a champ and the transmission won’t stall out like a gas-powered engine.
Jeep hasn’t said whether or not they’ll release the all-electric Magneto to the general public. They first wanted to throw the idea out there to see if there was enough interest.
As for cost, it’s still unclear. A brand new 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe starts at around $48,000, so we can expect an EV Jeep to be over 50,000.
Here’s what a few of the top auto news sites are saying about the Magneto:
- The Drive: “If you haven’t come to terms with it yet, it’s probably time you did—electric Jeep Wranglers are on the way, and soon…relatively speaking. The Detroit automaker hasn’t said when a production Wrangler EV will drop but Jeep is already building up to it with the plug-in hybrid 4xe model.”
- Motortrend: “…the Jeep Magneto is a fascinating experiment in how electric motors might apply to off-roading. One of the Wrangler’s parlor tricks is the ability to start the engine without the clutch while in Low range—that way if you stall on an obstacle because you’ve chosen too high a gear, you can hold the brakes, shift to a lower gear, release the brakes, then turn the key to start rolling… This sort of low-speed thing is exactly what an electric motor does best: Just apply the accelerator and start moving slowly.”
- The Verge: “The Magneto also, interestingly, comes equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. And while that might be surprising, since most electric cars have single-speed transmissions, the Magneto actually isn’t the first electric concept car to have a multi-gear transmission. Ford showed off a concept six-speed manual transmission all-electric Mustang, the Mustang Lithium, back in November 2019.”
- Fourwheeler: “Magneto represents the future of off-roading. Magneto is Jeep’s one-off experiment to test an all-electric powertrain in the Wrangler. Accomplishing a task that many thought wasn’t doable, Jeep stuffed an electric motor where the gasser once sat. And get this—mated it to the familiar six-speed manual gearbox and the Rubicon’s running gear.”