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September 8, 2020

Jeep plans offroad chargers on US trails

Following the launch of its Wrangler 4xe PHEV, Jeep plans to build solar powered chargers on US off road trails.

By Olly Wehring

Following the launch of its Wrangler 4xe PHEV, Jeep plans to build solar powered chargers on US off road trails.

According to greencarreports.com, Jeep North American boss Jim Morrison said in an interview with CNET the 4xe combines limited zero emission driving with off road capability so the automaker plans to build solar-powered charging stations on trails in California and Utah.

Locations will include Rubicon Springs, the halfway point of the famous Rubicon Trail (Rubicon is a Wrangler trim level), as well as selected trails in Moab, Utah, a popular location for off roading where Jeep enthusiasts host an annual Easter safari.

With 25 miles of all electric range, the Wrangler 4xe should be able to complete many trails with fully-charged battery pack. The Rubicon Trail is only 22 miles long, and a Wrangler 4xe covered it entirely on electric power with no issues, Morrison reportedly said.

The report said the trailside charging stations could be useful for drivers that arrive at the trailhead without a fully charged battery pack. They infrastructure will also be in place for future all electric Jeeps.

Greencarreports.com said Charging stations likely would be Level 2, taking about two hours to recharge the Wrangler's 17.3 kilowatt hour battery pack, according to Jeep. The pack consists of 96 Samsung prismatic cells and is mounted under the rear passenger seats. It sends power to a main traction motor positioned at the transmission input shaft, as well as a belt connected motor generator. These are combined with a two-litre turbocharged I4 petrol engine developing 375 horsepower and 470 lb ft of torque – the highest output of any Wrangler.

Jeep's Level 2 charging stations might be a good complement to the adventure-location fast-charging stations being put up by Rivian, greencarreports.com said.

PHEVs have have a tank of petrol as back up, rather than fast charging, so the all-electric Rivian R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV will likely be available with an accessory battery backup and/or truck-to-truck charging options, the report added.  

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