I know. Just like I was, you spit out your coffee, then proceeded to roll on the floor laughing after reading the title. But, after I actually saw what an electric-powered Jeep Wrangler is capable of, I felt nothing but admiration for it. In the States, everyone is worried about the JK-series Wrangler‘s final days and speculating about how the 2018 Jeep Wrangler is going to do on the market on a new platform. What does Korea do instead? Decide to create an electric power conversion for the current Wrangler model, making it an EV (electric vehicle)
These EV Wranglers aren’t good for driving on the highway because of lower speeds, but for rock climbing? Holy crap, it’s actually good!
You Gotta See it to Believe It!
The CAD4X Laboratory provided the brains behind this operation. CAD4X is part of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, and has been for sometime now. About eight months ago, the lab released a video of its electric models going up against a diesel-powered JK Wrangler. The funny part? It actually put the diesel and gas-powered Wranglers – the latter of the two sitting on bigger tires — to shame when crawling up and over wet rocks on the river.
It’s definitely weird watching the EV Jeep traverse the rocky terrain. You can hear the tires press against the rock, and the occasional bits of gravel knock loose. But other than that, it’s completely silent. No sound at all, except for the unmistakeable “whine” of an electric motor running, and the creaking of the suspension and frame.
It handles the extremely rocky terrain with gusto, and if you play the sound of a gas-powered motor running over the video, it looks just as effective as a gas-job Wrangler tackling it.
It doesn’t just rock-crawl, either. It fjords, goes up stairs, and ascends giant hills made up of loose dirt – all with the appropriate range of 4×4 gearing, just like a gas-powered Wrangler would. Except, it does it all in a much smoother manner. There are actually a few different models in the video, and I’ll put the Youtube link down below so you can check it out after.
There are two electric Jeep Wranglers in the video. The green one has a maximum speed of about 45 mph, with a max horsepower output of 160, thanks to a Dual 60 kW motor with high reduction ratio. The torque is about 210 lb.-ft., and it runs on 37” BFG mud-terrain tires, over a Teraflex Longer suspension lift.
The orange one has a Dual 60 kW motor, but with a medium reduction ratio this time. Top speed is a little better, and sits at about 67 mph. It puts out the same 160 horsepower and 210 lb.-ft. of torque as the green version does.
These are really something to see, and the CAD4X Laboratory has also essentially built a giant R/C (radio controlled) truck. If you want to check that out in action, Watch This: