Electric JK Jeep Wrangler

The Wrangler Gets An Electric Overhaul


With electric cars becoming a larger and larger influence in the automotive industry it was only a matter of time until there would be an electric Jeep Wrangler. Electric vehicles have always been known to provide incredible instantaneous horse power and torque, often with electric motors powering each wheel, they also have the capability of providing sophisticated level of traction control, closely monitoring power delivery independently to each wheel. What happens if elective vehicle technology was carried over to Jeep Wranglers and taken on the trail?

Converting A Wrangler To Electric

CAD4X Laboratory at the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology has done just that. Taking a current JK Wrangler and replacing its gas engine with a dual 60kW motor and Kokam NMC battery. CAD4X claims it can produce 160hp, but more impressively instantaneous 210 ft-lbs of torque and zero emissions.

That kind of instant power translates into impressive crawling capabilities while on the trail. The company has been researching this for quite a while, with impressive results. Videos have emerged with some of their test vehicles on massive 37” tires, showcasing impressive trail performance.

Electric Jeep WranglerJeep’s Attempt With Electric

Jeep itself has dipped its toes in the EV (electric vehicle) pool. After the launch of the current JK Wrangler in 2008, Chrysler’s in-house ENVI Organization (ENVI, the first four letters for Environmental) produced prototypes for Dodge EV, Jeep EV and Chrysler EV and demonstrated the performance and capabilities for each, in a pitch to have one produced in 2010.

The prototypes were designed for front-wheel, rear-wheel and body-on-frame four-wheel drive configurations, capable of producing 268hp and a massive 295 ft-lbs of torque, with a range capability of 150 to 200 miles. ENVI, estimated that the average American commuting consumption was only 40 miles per day, making these vehicles legitimate consumer products.

Making Them More Practical

The prototypes also offered Range-Extended options, which paired the EV system with a small gasoline engine that has an 8-gallon gas tank. The gas engine would serve as a generator to recharge the batteries. The range extension option was designed to address concerns for the average consumer, but especially for the Jeep community while in remote trail conditions.

These range extended EV prototypes were estimated to deliver a combined ranged of close to 400 miles. Subsequently, we know that the EV Wranglers were never produced within the JK generation, but rumors have been floated of the system possibly making its way in the form of a hybrid for the upcoming 2018 JL Wrangler.

What are your thoughts, would you like to see a hybrid or pure electric Wrangler? Would the thought of instantaneous torque on the trail be useful? Comment your thoughts below!

2 comments

  1. Great article! I like the progress we’re seeing with electric vehicles. The issue with EV’s in my opinion has often been about the design. The first Prius looked like an Easter egg on wheels. But having that type of environmentally friendly mechanics with the rugged design of a Jeep is a perfect match.

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  2. Electric vehicles have big advantages for off-road use, I think. Electric engines have max torque at 0 rpm which is great for things like rock-crawling and trails. I would like to see a fully-electric jeep with a generator that could be optionally used to turn gas into power if needed.

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