As an avid Jeeper and 4.0 liter engine enthusiast, (I own and drive three of them) I have found Wranglers that date past the TJ (2007+) to be lacking in their overabundance of metaphoric cup holders. I never liked the wider looking Hummer-like JK, and the Pentastar V6 will always be a minivan engine so sorry, no takers here. But this concept is actually interesting. I like it’s fidelity to the manual gearbox and transfer case in the sense that the electric power train seems to be designed around it. Incorporate the latest battery technology and perhaps even a gas powered range extender and yes, you might be in for some really interesting overland possibilities. I love my ICEs but the Magneto takes the BEV to an interesting place. Perfectly (almost) quiet off-roading holds my interest. And the torque delivery of an EV presents exciting possibilities. I’ll stay tuned. Maybe my next Wrangler will be electric. We’ll see. My family has owned Jeeps since Kaiser Frazer (my grandfather was a dealer) and this is a compelling step forward.
Ok. Here’s the guy that rips EVs (and anything without a clutch pedal) at every turn. I must say I find this somewhat interesting. The manual transmission got me going, of course; but the description of the power train’s use off road seems to point to some advantages.
I'm no engineer, but it seems to me that electric power is will suited to rock crawling given the low down torque. But. All that heavy battery weight (1500 over a V6!) that high off the ground should make this thing about as stable as a Suzuki Sidekick. Or a three wheeled Reliant Robin. Then there's the other big problem. When you are off roading to get away from it all and wilderness trekking, where are you going to plug it in?
Fair question about the charging. Jeep announced back in March that it is installing charging stations at about 55 different trailheads around the country, so the company is thinking about the problem. Granted, you can't currently carry the equivalent of a jerry can with you on the trail itself, but batteries are getting more and more energy dense and efficient, and in general most of the type of use is not super-long distance.
This checks all the right boxes for those who are on the fence about electric vehicles. Range anxiety may still be a thing, but rowing gears and having fun off-road are the winners from these. I’ll be in line for one. Jeep will be making their own mini solar panel in the shape of the grill. Calling it now.
I don’t have any philosophical problem with electrics. The problem with them is that batteries are about 1/50th as energy dense as fuel. That’s why you don’t see practical electric airplanes and why this thing is so overweight. Also, if you’re buying one to be “green” just know that, chances are, your electric car is coal powered. Solve those problems and I’m all in.