Is there an electric Wrangler in your future?
Yep, it could well be, if today’s announcement out of Chrysler comes to fruition as promised. The company has pledged to have at least one “range-extended” gas-electric production vehicle ready for sale in the US by 2010, and today, company spokesfolks in Auburn Hills rolled out three prototypes---among them, the Jeep EV, based off the four-door Wrangler Unlimited platform.
How does it work? Well, here’s the press release to explain it all (drum roll, please):
The Jeep EV development vehicle 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.
The Jeep EV combines Wrangler’s unmatched off-road capability with the ultimate “Tread Lightly” mindset by providing nature ambassadors with the ability to roam the planet and take care of it at the same time.
The Jeep EV Range-extended Electric Vehicle uses 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 200 kW (268 horsepower) electric motor generates 400 N·m (295 lb.-ft.) of torque. With approximately eight gallons of gasoline, the Jeep EV has a range of 400 miles, including 40 miles of zero fuel-consumption, zero-emissions, all-electric operation.
“We are also exploring four-wheel-drive, in-wheel electric motors to demonstrate the full reach of ENVI’s advanced electric-drive technologies,” said Rhodes.
The instant high torque of the electric-drive motor and the ability to precisely control each wheel independently results in off-road capability ideally suited for the Jeep brand, without compromising on-road driving capability.