GM has gone nostalgia-macho with its short-term EV plans, reviving the once-dead Hummer brand as an all-electric pickup truck with absurd performance figures. Predictably, Jeep is also inevitably getting into the EV game, except Jeep’s plans sound very… European.
Spanish publication Periodismo del Motor, via The Drive, claims to have details of the first all-electric Jeep, which will reportedly be a smaller vehicle than the current compact Jeep Renegade and possibly be manufactured in Europe.
The report claims the Jeep Renegade’s plant in Melfi, Italy will be where the new EV is built, but it’s possible the vehicle production could extend to North America eventually. The plant is already producing Jeep’s hybrid vehicles, so the jump to fully-electric seems inevitable.
Months ago, Auto Express reported the new EV would be sized slightly larger than the European Suzuki Jimny compact off-roader, but significantly smaller than the Jeep Renegade. The report also claimed it was likely Jeep’s first EV would be based on the Common Modular Platform from Jeep’s new partner, PSA Group.
Jeep’s parent company Fiat Chrysler (FCA) and PSA Group recently announced plans to merge into a larger global conglomerate called Stellantis, specifically for stuff like platform sharing. A compact EV in the Jimny segment in Europe would likely be a huge hit, offering the rugged appeal of Jeep while still managing to squeeze down narrow roads ironically built by some Italians back around 55 B.C.
By contrast, Ford recently revived its off-roading, gas-powered Bronco platform to better compete against the Jeep Wrangler, and its first all-electric crossover is branded as a sports car tuned for track performance. General Motors has plans for a Chevy Bolt-based compact crossover with no promising off-roading capability, but they’re making up for it with the new 1,000 horsepower Hummer EV.
There’s also Rivian, soon to offer an electric SUV and pickup capable of a claimed range of up to 643 kilometres with some expected off-road capability, and Bollinger, where its whole thing is tough off-roading powered by magic.
Despite the competition the Jeep Renegade sells very well, particularly in Europe. A smaller, more road-capable EV styled like a Jimny sounds so surprisingly promising it’s probably too good to be true. Let’s just hope America gets it if the reports are accurate and it is as cool as it could be.