Jeep Wrangler Electric: Everything we know as of April 2022

Update: ‘Driving Impressions’ section added and ‘Jeep Wrangler sales’ section updated.

One of the specially built Jeeps at the 2022 Easter Jeep Safari in Moab this month is an electric Wrangler. The Jeep Wrangler Magneto 2.0 Concept is an updated version of the Magneto concept from last year’s Moab Easter Jeep Safari.

While it is no secret that an electric Jeep is in the works, the concepts give some insight into what the final product would be like. The Magneto is a testbed for the Jeep Wrangler electric, and here’s everything we know about its concept and production versions:

Jeep Wrangler electric design

Jeep Magneto 2.0 concept

The Magneto 2.0 Concept features custom lightweight bumpers and carbon-fiber wheel flares that provide better approach and departure angles for enhanced off-road capability. Jeep has painted the new Wrangler electric concept in a ‘Surf Blue’ color with a custom carbon-fiber B-pillar, carbon fiber hood, and custom bikini top. A blue-tinted, transparent window integrated into the hood allows seeing the power unit.

Production Wrangler electric design

In March 2021, Allen told The Detroit News that Jeep would take the Magneto to Moab (natural testing ground for Jeep) over the next three years to make changes along the way. He hinted that the production model (Jeep Wrangler electric) would be done differently and teased the possibility of the production version looking quite different from the Magneto concept.

Jeep Wrangler Magneto 2.0 Concept rear three quarter
The Jeep Wrangler electric will further mature by 2024 as the Magneto is put through its paces by Jeep engineers. Image Source: Stellantis

The Jeep Wrangler is quite versatile, and its electric variant will build on it. EV technology brings new design possibilities, particularly at the front. It allows improving space for people and gear, Christian Meunier, CEO of Jeep, said at an APAC conference on July 13, 2021. The core design will remain unchanged, and we expect plenty of tweaks. Meunier said that the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 is a dream vehicle, but it has to adapt to the changing world and make its products even more exciting.

The 392 Wrangler is a dream vehicle at the same time the world is changing and evolving and our role is to make Jeep even more exciting and that platform of electrification gives it to us, we are lucky to have it. So we embrace it. The Jeep community likes nature, they embrace nature and to have a product that doesn’t pollute nature is quite great. And to drive in silence in nature is awesome, it is magic!

Christian Meunier, CEO, Jeep, in July 2021

Will stay true to the original 1941 Jeep

Allen said at the roundtable that the company wouldn’t throw away the existing theme and start over again. It’s very important for customers and, thus, for the brand to carry forward the traditional design. The Wrangler will always have familiar connections to Jeep’s history from day one – the 1941 Willys Jeep. The design chief recollected the time when Jeep changed the Wrangler’s headlamp shape from round to square and removed the pitchforks and torches, saying that “people were horrified by that.” The company has learned that it’s always baby steps for the Wrangler when it comes to design changes, so the Jeep Wrangler electric will stay true to the original design.

The mechanical pieces, being able to finally move some of those pieces around will allow us a lower shorter hood, front storage like we talked about, not having to do the cooling up front, maybe I can move the wheels forward into a better position, the idea of having the torque being applied to the wheels in a different manner offers me some design solutions. Finally being able to move some big nuggets around on a platform that we couldn’t before. I think we can make a much more efficient package to the vehicle.

Mark Allen, Head of Jeep design, on how an electric powertrain liberates new ideas to design, in July 2021

Allen previously said that Jeep would use the Magneto to gauge reaction from Jeep enthusiasts. One of the main concerns among Jeep enthusiasts is the charging infrastructure during long camping trips, which Jeep seems dedicated to solving using new solar-powered charging stations, such as the ones at the Badge of Honor trails at Moab and Rubicon Trail in California.

The whole reason for doing this (Magneto concept) was just to see what does a battery electric Jeep do in the off-road environment of Moab. Magneto is set to be a test bed for us to answer those questions that we have curiosities about.

Mark Allen, Head of Jeep Design

Jeep Wrangler electric specifications

The Magneto 2.0 uses a custom-built axial flux electric motor that operates at up to 5,250 rpm, in combination with four battery packs with a combined power of 70 kWh, running an 800-volt system. The e-motor features a 6-speed MT with regen available during clutch engagement. Jeep has employed an inverter derived from race cars for the DC-AC conversion required for the motor.

800V battery system on the Jeep Magneto Electric
Allen says the production model would be done differently compared to the Magneto concept. Above is the battery system mounted where the gas-powered engine sits. Image Source: Stellantis

Powertrain

The performance of the Magneto 2.0 is far superior to that of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. The e-motor is tuned to deliver up to 850 lb.-ft. of wheel torque (more than triple the 2021 Magneto’s torque output) and 625 horsepower. Jeep says the Magneto 2.0’s powertrain can hold the peak amperage of 600 amps (more than doubled) for up to 10 seconds, and during that time, a 0-60 mph sprint takes 2 seconds. A driver-selectable maximum regeneration function that makes a one-pedal driving experience possible is also new in this year’s Wrangler electric concept.

Adjustments

Jeep has derived the Magneto 2.0 from the two-door Wrangler. The company increased the wheelbase by 12 inches to accommodate the electric powertrain components. This dimension change gives the concept proportions similar to the 2004-06 Wrangler Unlimited LJ.

The Li-ion batteries are distributed around the 2022 Wrangler electric concept to balance weight on the four wheels. One pack replaces the Wrangler’s fuel tank, another is mounted opposite the fuel tank location, the third pack sits on top of the e-motor, and the fourth is in the space normally used for a rear storage compartment.

Rock-Trac

The Magneto 2.0 features the Wrangler Rubicon’s Rock-Trac transfer case. Jeep changed the original concept’s 6-speed manual transmission for the updated version, tweaking the first gear ratio from 5.13 to 3.36. Together, these aspects give the new concept an “unequaled rock-crawling capability,” says Jeep.

The Rock-Track 4×4 system features Dynatrac 60 Pro-Rock front axle and a Pro-Rock Dynatrac 80 rear axle, with a 5.38 ratio and lockers. A custom driveshaft, an off-road suspension, a custom 3-inch lift kit, and 20-inch wheels wrapped in 40-inch off-road tires are also noteworthy off-roading hardware Jeep has used in the new concept.

Driving Impressions

InsideEVs US’ video director Clint Simone got to test drive the Jeep Magneto 2.0 Concept in Moab and shared his impressions on YouTube. Simone found one-pedal driving convenient during off-roading. Regenerative braking in the electric Wrangler is so effective that the driver needs to give throttle even to go down a small rock shelf, Simone noted. It offers enough stopping power, and the driver wouldn’t need to apply physical brakes even when going on a downward slope. When in low range, there’s plenty of torque available.

Video Source: YouTube/InsideEVs US

New-age features

The Jeep Wrangler electric will pack a host of new-age technologies to appeal to modern customers just as much as old-school off-road enthusiasts. Stellantis has teased features like Peer-to-Peer Charging, Remote Vehicle Tracking, Biometric Recognition, Jeep Drone Pairing, Jeep Trails, Group Ride, OTA updates, and AR HUD.

Peer-to-Peer Charging will enable bi-directional charging and provide a vehicle-to-vehicle charging function. Biometric Recognition will include a face recognition system that scans the customer’s face as they approach their vehicle and, on matching with the registered face, powers it on automatically.

Jeep Trails will include over 6,000 pre-loaded off-road trails, allowing new off-roaders to embark on their first adventures without any worries. Plus, Group Ride will locate and communicate with members of the customer’s Jeep community anywhere on or off the road. “Lost” will probably become a long-lost word, then!

With Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication capabilities, our Jeep brand community will stay connected, and share adventures from the most remote locations even without cellular connectivity.

Mamatha Chamarthi, SVP Software Business & Product, Stellantis, at the Stellantis Software Day 2021 on December 7, 2021

With Jeep Platooning, customers going together on a trip in multiple Wrangler EVs or other Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication enabled EVs from Stellantis would be able to stay in constant contact. This feature would make road trips interesting, especially for two or more facilities traveling together in different vehicles. It would be useful during off-roading, especially to alert following vehicles of any obstacles and guide them through the trail. Yves Bonnefont, Chief Software Officer, Stellantis, explains:

We enable communication between the different cars on the trail. This is obviously resonating very very well with our Jeep customers and their passion to go off track.

Yves Bonnefont, Chief Software Officer, Stellantis (Stellantis Software Day 2021 on December 7, 2021)

Stellantis plans to gradually deploy V2V communication features in several other brands, although available features may vary as per the need of each brand:

We’re going to use the exact same software modules to create the same service with a different flavor for our friends and family brands, say Chrysler or Citroen in Europe, where you will have communication capabilities with two or three cars going on the motorway on the weekends and they can now talk between each other, they can point their GPS navigation towards the car of their friends and stop together, they can maybe listen to the same music, streaming at the same time, so they feel together.

Yves Bonnefont, Chief Software Officer, Stellantis (Stellantis Software Day 2021 on December 7, 2021)

How electric helps Jeep

The Jeep Wrangler is going electric primarily because of stricter emission regulations, but there are many advantages customers will get from the transformation. An electric powertrain provides silent driving, which would make the Wrangler even more suitable for safari and other expeditions for animal/bird-watching. A front trunk’s extra storage space would make it more practical in urban and off-road situations. These benefits are in addition to the most basic advantage, which is instant torque. The company can also give each wheel a dedicated motor to further improve off-roading capability. A shorter hood could enhance the visibility of the road/trail ahead.

Submersible Jeep Wrangler electric underwater teaser with Christian Meunier
Jeep wants to make a submersible Wrangler electric that can drive underwater around 2030. Currently, the Wrangler Xtreme Recon provides 33.6 inches of water fording. Image Source: Stellantis

By the next decade, the Jeep Wrangler electric could gain the capability to drive underwater. At the virtual roundtable on July 13, 2021, Jeep teased a fully submersible Wrangler in a video. Meunier referred to that capability as “a wink to the future” and said it “could be a dream after 2030.” “Maybe not a dream, though,” Meunier quickly corrected, suggesting that the company wants to make that dream of off-road enthusiasts true next decade.

One of the other elements is clean air, we’re working on a vehicle right now in my shop, it’s a future vehicle we’re talking about, how we could open the back of the vehicle up somebody brought up, we’ll you’ll have exhaust fumes coming in the back, no not in an electric vehicle, it’s pure! Electricity is going to make not just a new Jeep, but a better Jeep in every way, and we’re very excited about that!

Mark Allen, Head of Jeep design, dwelling on the benefits an electric powertrain brings to a Jeep SUV, in July 2021

Jeep Wrangler Electric release date

On March 1, 2022, Stellantis held a conference to detail its long-term strategic plan. Carlos Tavares, the company’s CEO, talked about the first electric Jeep launches at this event. In 2024, Stellantis will introduce a pure off-road UV and a lifestyle family SUV for the U.S. market. The former is all but confirmed as the Electric Jeep Wrangler.

For Jeep, we’ll have two products coming: an off-road jeep UV and a lifestyle family SUV, both in 2024.

Carlos Tavares, CEO, Stellantis (Stellantis long-term strategic plan on March 1, 2022)

Stellantis wants to have a zero-emission, fully electric Jeep 4xe model in every SUV segment and convert 70% of its sales to electrified models by 2025.

Jeep electrification target 2025
Jeep expects to convert nearly a third of its sales to electrified models by 2025. It will have one fully-electric Jeep in every SUV segment by 2025. Image Source: Stellantis

Until the introduction of the Jeep Wrangler Electric, environmentally conscious Jeep enthusiasts will have to contend with the Jeep Wrangler 4xe, the company’s first PHEV in North America, which starts at USD 52,530 and was sold out quickly after its launch.

Jeep Wrangler sales

The Jeep Wrangler is one of the best-selling models and a breadwinner for the brand in the U.S. and Canada. Sales were flattish in 2021 but still at a considerably high volume compared to most other Jeeps.

In the U.S., Wrangler sales grew from 201,311 units in 2020 to 204,610 units in 2021, marking a 6% year-over-year growth. 2021 was when the Wrangler 4xe went on sale as the first-ever electrified Wrangler. It was also the model’s best retail sales year since 2018. In Q1 2022, Wrangler sales dropped 8% YoY to 45,551 units. 8,346 units or 18% of total sales came from the Wrangler 4xe.

In Canada, Wrangler sales declined 6% from 21,262 units in 2020 to 20,026 units in 2021. In Q1 2022, sales increased by 47% YoY to 6,642 units. 20% of the sales came from the Wrangler 4xe, which is one of the best-selling PHEVs in the country.

Featured image: Stellantis