2009 Detroit Auto Show: Jeep Wrangler Electric Vehicle (EV)

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 11, 2009

The famous "Go Anywhere, Do Anything" capability of the Jeep Wrangler has now an electric prototype in the form of the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Electric Vehicle. According to Lou Rhodes, ENVI President and VP, Advance Vehicle Engineering, Chrystler LLC, that this is in step with ENVI's objective to "develop electric-drive solutions for every segment and for every customer."

With the Jeep Wrangler, the automaker brings both fuel economy and eco-friendliness to a market segment where there is a high need for exploring the environment to the optimum.

The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited EV experimental model is a two-wheel drive although the company is also exploring its advanced electric-drive technologies with the viability of FWD, in-wheel electric motors.

When this venture proves successful, both the high instant torque that the electric motor generates and the ability to accurately control each wheel individually will provide the vehicle with off-road capability the Jeep brand is known for without diminishing on-road capability.

Powertrain utilized in the Unlimited EV is the Range-extended Electric Vehicle which is composed of an electric motor, advanced lithium-ion battery package, and a small gasoline engine with built-in electric generator to provide extra energy to propel the electric-drive system when necessary.

The electric motor generates 268 hp (200 kW) and 295lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque with a maximum range of 400 miles which includes 40 miles of all-electric drive.

Press Release

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited EV

The Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited EV is a Range-extended Electric Vehicle that provides a glimpse into the future of a "Go Anywhere, Do Anything" vehicle with renowned Jeep Wrangler capability.

"One of our goals at ENVI is to develop electric-drive solutions for every segment and for every customer," said Lou Rhodes, President - ENVI, and Vice President - Advance Vehicle Engineering, Chrysler LLC. "An electric-drive Jeep Wrangler brings ultimate fuel efficiency and ultra-clean transportation to a market segment whose consumers want to explore the environment to the fullest."

The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited EV prototype is a two-wheel drive Wrangler. However, Chrysler's ENVI organization is exploring four-wheel-drive, in-wheel electric motors to demonstrate the full reach of the Company's advanced electric-drive technologies. When this technology is developed by ENVI, the instant high torque of the electric-drive motor and the ability to precisely control each wheel independently will result in off-road capability ideally suited for the Jeep brand, without compromising on-road capability.

The Wrangler Unlimited EV also uses an ENVI Range-extended Electric Vehicle powertrain, consisting of an electric motor, an advanced lithium-ion battery system, and a small gasoline engine with an integrated electric generator to produce additional energy to power the electric-drive system when needed. The electric motor produces 200 kW (268 horsepower) and 400 N•m (295 lb.-ft.) of torque. The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited EV has a range of 400 miles, including 40 miles of zero fuel-consumption, zero-emissions, all-electric operation.

The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited EV features a new ENVI Green Pearl exterior color, integrating full body-side "EV" graphics.

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