You'll be able to get juice before you go off the grid.
Jeep introduced its first electrified off-roader a few months ago, calling it the Wrangler 4xe (four-by-e). It gets 49 mpge and 21 miles of all electric range. Fans were thrilled with the chance to take in nature, silently as they crawl up a series of boulders, each bigger than the last. The off-road company is continuing to put its money where its mouth is, today announcing it will partner with Electrify America to create a the Jeep 4xe Charging Network.
Jeep-branded stations will take up residence at trailheads this spring at some of the most famous off-road playgrounds including Moab in Utah, the Rubicon Trail and Big Bear in California. You can find them near "Jeep Badge of Honor" trails, an off-road rewards program to support Jeep enthusiasts. The company says that more charging stations will open by the end of the year.
"Electrification opens a new chapter in the Jeep brand story, and it brings an entirely new level of excitement and enjoyment to our enthusiastic owners," said Christian Meunier, Jeep Brand Chief Executive Officer. "Key to making Jeep brand the greenest SUV brand is assuring our owners can enjoy the benefits of electric propulsion wherever they go, including the most iconic off-road trails in the country."
Jeep told us that some of the chargers will be solar, some will be on the grid and some will be both. All will use the standard J1772 connector.
Drivers will be able to get free charging from these stations through a custom mobile app by Electrify America. It will also let users initiate and monitor their charging. Jeep notes that they'll be Level 2 (240-volt) chargers, and that they can charge the Wrangler's 17-kWh battery fully in two hours.
Besides the battery, the Wrangler 4xe comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four for a total output of 375 hp and 470 lb-ft. That's sent through an eight-speed automatic transmission to a real Jeep 4x4 system.
"The Wranger 4xe has been tested more than a million miles around the world," a Jeep rep told us, "in some of the most challenging on- and off-road conditions, and that includes running the Rubicon Trail."
We'll note that the Rubicon Trail is a brutal 22-miles long, but Jeep assured us that the Wrangler 4xe has tackled every obstacle under electric propulsion. Since the Jeep has a 21-mile range, we're assuming it either charged in the middle or had a fleet of them out test.
And we're sure to see more out there soon.