Electric Jeep Wranglers Put Off-Roading Petrol Counterparts In Their Place – Video

3 months ago by Jay Cole 22

Once upon a time Chrysler introduced a plug-in Jeep Wrangler that was said to be headed to production, along with a bevvy of other EVs – then Fiat bought out the company…and the rest was history (including the plug-ins).

Electric Jeep conversion doing its thing!

Electric Jeep conversion doing its thing!

And while FCA is getting back into the plug-in hybrid business with the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid that is just now arriving at US dealers, we miss those “good old days” of Chrysler’s fanciful plug-in projects.

Reminding us of the original Wrangler EV are these more recent all-electric conversions of today’s classic Jeep, specifically designed for off-roading.

Built by CAD4X Laboratory at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, this shows the extreme potential for those of us who like to do the extraordinary in the wild.  Nothing like having ~160 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque available from a standstill.

This Jeep Plug-In Hybrid Prototype Was Revealed Back in 2008...and then died a slow death

This Jeep Plug-In Hybrid Prototype Was Revealed Back in 2008…and then died a slow death

Jalopnik, Hat tip to sven!

 

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24 responses to "Electric Jeep Wranglers Put Off-Roading Petrol Counterparts In Their Place – Video"

  1. CLIVE says:

    Leave no rock unturned.

  2. Alaa says:

    Should we expect a large contract from the army?

  3. Michael - EV West says:

    More great 4×4 projects on the way. Stay tuned.

    1. Mogster says:

      Convert a Mercedes Unimog 404 and then you might have something 🙂

      1. wavelet says:

        Already been done (-;

  4. AlphaEdge says:

    Very cool, and looks like a lot of fun.

    Love to have a garage with one of those in it, for weekend adventures! 🙂

    Wonder what the range is though.

  5. Nix says:

    One of the issues with 4-wheeling, is that you have to gear down like crazy just to keep the engine above stalling and in the torque band while going slow over rocks.

    electric motors don’t have that problem. There is no stalling an electric motor and having to restart it.

    PHEV Wranglers would be brilliant. But the offroad crowd is pretty set on Hemi’s and diesels. It is going to be a tough sell to the actual crawling crowd.

  6. Pequenininho says:

    They look very cool when everything is going right, but I shudder to think about what happens on a bad day. Rock crawling and mudding do crazy things to vehicles. Parts break that you wouldn’t believe, and do amazing things, and many times you’re in a place tow trucks don’t go, so you’ve got to fix it trailside. Bashing lithium batteries on rocks, going under the hood in the pouring rain (high voltage lines!) to fix something you’ve toasted, or grenading diffs near sensitive electronics are the things nightmares are made of. I’m not saying these challenges can’t be overcome, but I sure wouldn’t want to be the guy testing them.

    1. I would guess that – since Tesla Added a Small Titanium Shield to protect its batter, and the rest is still the original 1’4″ Thick Aluminum Plate, So, for this 4×4 application, the battery box bottom – could be covered by an additional Titanium & Steel Skid plate! I did notice some very exposed Steering tie rods I was a bit concerned about in the video – I would ant those shielded too!

  7. Ian says:

    I humbly volunteer to test them. 25 years experience off road and I have been waiting for a long time to go electric.now if only they could come up with an electric retrofit product for all the gassers out there who already have built up trucks…. Hmmm…

    1. Note Above – “Michael – EV West” Post, or check them out – http://www.evwest.com/

    2. Joshua Burstyn says:

      I think that is a great idea as a PoC. Do it!

  8. arne-nl says:

    And the silence is awesome, you can hear the river flowing…..

    1. arne-nl says:

      And I forgot: if you seal the battery, motors and electronics well, you can drive it under water as it needs no air.

      Ah, well, apart from those pesky humans inside…. 😉

  9. Rob says:

    If electric power usage is anything like ICE fuel usage offroad, your offroad range will be around half of what you’d get onroad.

    1. Joshua Burstyn says:

      Shouldn’t be. I am far from being an expert in off-road motorsports, but there seems to be a lot of idling, whereas an EV needs no idle.

  10. Katie Holmes says:

    Shocking

  11. Bob Nickson says:

    Anybody else thing that there is huge potential for electric offroad vehicles using hub motors?

    Ground clearance is as or more important in offroading than four wheel drive, and hub motors would eliminate axles and differentials and allow radical new independent suspension designs.

    Add the independent traction control for each wheel and you’d really have something.

    1. Sebastian says:

      @Bob Nickson:

      Will NEVER happen. Jeeps are solid axle. Have been since ’41 and Mark Allen (Chief Designer at Jeep) has stated VERY publicly that Jeeps will never be anything but solid axle. Ever.

      1. Mark Garnett says:

        Sounds like he is stuck in his ways…. think Nokia and Blackberry.

  12. Sebastian says:

    @Robert Weekely:
    “and the rest is still the original 1’4″ Thick Aluminum Plate, So, for this 4×4 application, the battery box bottom – could be covered by an additional Titanium & Steel Skid plate! I did notice some very exposed Steering tie rods I was a bit concerned about in the video – I would ant those shielded too!”

    One foot, 4″ thick skid plate? Say what? 16″ thick skid? That isn’t a skid plate. That’s an armoured car!
    Exposed tie rod? Ya, so? Have you never seen a Wrangler before? ALL Jeeps have exposed tie rods. Every model of every year since 1941 when Willy’s-Overland, Ford and Bantam made them.
    If you’re going to make a comment, know what you’re talking about.
    A 16″ thick skid plate…Ha! I’m still laughing at that one.

    @PequiniHoHohobo:
    “Bashing lithium batteries on rocks, going under the hood in the pouring rain (high voltage lines!) to fix something you’ve toasted, or grenading diffs near sensitive electronics”

    Bashing batteries on rocks?
    Do you really think whoever builds these things hasn’t thought of that? Don’t worry. Robert Weekely’s 16″ thick skid plate will protect them.
    “Grenading diffs”? Say what? Why is that even being mentioned? How is that relative to an electric powered Jeep?

    I could go on but you two, the most of all comments here, better learn what you’re talking about if you’re going to comment publicly.

  13. Harold Davies says:

    Ihave repaired a lot of electric vehicles . In my time. The biggest problem I found they don’t like dirt and oil. Batteries and chargers must be maintained properly. I don’t think the public is ready for the maintenance required for these vehicles or the cost of it !

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