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Jeep is going all in on electric SUVs starting with the Wrangler-esque Recon

The automaker plans to have four new EVs by 2025

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The Jeep Recon will be one of the company’s first EVs in North America.
Image: Stellantis

Jeep will introduce four new all-electric SUVs in North America and Europe by the end of 2025 as part of a broader strategy to have EVs comprise 50 percent of sales in the US and 100 percent in Europe by 2030.

Jeep, which is owned by Stellantis, showed the first images of two fully electric SUVs — the all-new Wrangler-inspired Jeep Recon and a new electric Wagoneer, codenamed Wagoneer S. Both models are expected to arrive in North America and other regions by 2024. The automaker will also release a compact electric SUV, the Jeep Avenger, in Europe early next year

Recon, Wagoneer S, and Avenger

Major details, like battery capacity, trim levels, and price, are still being kept under wraps. (“Stay tuned,” said Jeep CEO Christian Meunier.) And the fourth model will also be revealed at a later date. But Jeep said it will “electrify” all of its models in the US, including a hybrid Wagoneer 4xe vehicle. The automaker aspires to become the number one seller of electric SUVs in the world.

“The BEV acceleration is going full speed,” Meunier said during a briefing with reporters.

It’s a bold plan from a brand that is seen as lagging behind the rest of the auto industry in terms of electrification. Most major automakers have electric SUVs and trucks in the pipeline, and many have signaled that off-road and adventure vehicles — which are Jeep’s bread and butter — are high on the list for electrification.

Meanwhile, Jeep has released plug-in hybrid versions of its Wrangler and Grand Cherokee SUVs — though the latter has been delayed in reaching customers — and plans an off-roading version of the Grand Cherokee, the Trailhawk, which also comes with a hybrid motor. The automaker does not currently sell any battery-electric models, though it has released several concepts.

But that will change, starting next year with the Europe-only Jeep Avenger. It makes sense that the automaker is targeting the European market first; Europe has a more mature EV charging network than the US, and EVs outsell gas models in many European countries, including Norway.

Jeep Avenger

Image: Stellantis
Image: Stellantis
Image: Stellantis

The Jeep Avenger will have a target range of 400 kilometers (248 miles) and will slot into the compact SUV market under the Jeep Renegade. Jeep didn’t provide any major details for the Avenger; the compact SUV will get a proper unveiling at the Paris Auto Show on October 17th.

But it did note that while it won’t be available in the US, it will go on sale in parts of Asia, including Japan and South Korea. The EV will go into production at the automaker’s factory in Tychy, Poland.

Jeep Recon

Image: Stellantis
Image: Stellantis
Image: Stellantis

Recon was previously the name given to a package of options for the Wrangler and other models that included a suspension-lifted vehicle body to accommodate bigger tires. Now it’s the name for one of Jeep’s new EVs, which the company says will only be offered as a battery-electric vehicle.

Like the Wrangler, the Recon will be highly customizable, including removable doors and roof panels. Buyers will be able to “see a little bit of the Wrangler DNA infecting the design of the Recon, and that’s not by accident,” Jeep’s chief design officer Ralph Gilles said. For example, the Recon will have exposed door hinges like the Wrangler — which bucks the trend of sleek, aerodynamic body types for most EVs.

Buyers will be able to “see a little bit of the Wrangler DNA infecting the design of the Recon, and that’s not by accident”

The Recon will be another in a long list of rugged, outdoor vehicles with the distinctive “seven element” grille in front. The EV will come with Jeep’s Selec-Terrain traction management system, as well as e-locker axle technology, under-body protection, tow hooks and off-road tires.

It will also feature the latest generation of Stellantis’ Uconnect software, which will include detailed travel guides of notable off-road trails.

The Recon will arrive in North America in 2024, though interested buyers can reserve one starting in early 2023. Jeep says the electric SUV will be sold in major markets around the world, including Europe. 

Jeep Wagoneer S

Image: Stellantis
Image: Stellantis
Image: Stellantis
Image: Stellantis

The last EV to be revealed was the Wagoneer S — though that’s just a codename for now. (Gilles said the “S stands for speed, striking, and sexy.”) Slotting into the premium SUV segment, the Wagoneer S will likely have a very big battery: Jeep says it’s targeting a range of 400 miles on a single charge, 600 hp, and a 0-60 mph time of around 3.5 seconds. 

The Wagoneer S will get a full reveal next year, but based on the teaser images, it looks slightly less hulking than its gas-powered namesake. Gilles said the interior space will be similar to the traditional Wagoneer, but the dimensions will be slightly smaller, with two rows instead of three. The Wagoneer S will also feature an LED grille, which is a growing trend in the EV market.

the Wagoneer S will likely have a very big battery

Jeep’s executives didn’t answer any questions about the price of its forthcoming EVs, but if the Wrangler 4xe’s window sticker is any indication, they won’t be cheap. The 2021 Wrangler 4xe Sahara starts at $52,520, the Rubicon at $56,220, and the High Altitude at $58,340.

The automaker has been mum on the Grand Cherokee 4xe’s price tag, though experts predict it will start at around $60,000. Executives also didn’t answer questions about whether the new lineup will qualify for the new EV tax credit in the US, which has strict requirements for assembly and the source of battery materials.

Stellantis recently selected Kokomo, Indiana, as the site for its $2.5 billion electric vehicle battery factory. The plant will be built in partnership with South Korea’s Samsung SDI, a leading EV battery maker.

There will obviously be hiccups and obstacles; the automaker is already dealing with delays in rolling out its Grand Cherokee 4xe hybrid, but Meunier said they should be reaching dealerships right now. He also highlighted Jeep’s ties to its parent company, Stellantis, which is the fourth biggest automaker in the world.

“The leveraging of the global scale of Stellantis is a key point,” he said, “because it allows us to pull all the resources we need while focusing on the Jeep DNA and creating the best Jeep that we can build today.”

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