We find out just how far this plug in hybrid adventure vehicle will go on battery alone.
We fully charged a 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe and took it out on the highway to see just how far it would go at a constant 70-mph before the battery was fully depleted.
The PHEV Wrangler 4xe has a 17.3 kWh (total capacity) battery pack, with a usable capacity of about 15 kWh. The Jeep 4xe’s all-electric EPA range rating is 21 miles (34 km) which also happens to be its highway EPA range rating also, which is something that usually isn’t the case. Typically, the highway EPA range rating is lower than the combined rating, and the city rating is higher.
Our own Mark Kane penned an article in March that fully explains the Jeep 4xe’s EPA range ratings.
This range test wasn’t without its problems, though. The Jeep 4xe has an electric driving mode that is supposed to keep the vehicle in all-electric mode until the battery runs out. However, if the vehicle determines that it needs more power it will automatically summon on the 2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine to assist.
Towards the end of the range test, there were two times when I was driving up a slight incline, and in order to maintain 70-mph, the vehicle turned on the ICE for about two-tenths of a mile. Had I been on perfectly flat ground, it wouldn’t have done that.
When the battery was fully depleted, I had covered 22.2 miles (35.74 km), slightly better than the EPA range rating. However, since a total of 4-tenths of a mile were driven with the gas engine running, I’m going to subtract that from the total and call the range test at 21.8 miles (35.1 km).
Unlike many other plug in hybrids, the Jeep 4xe doesn’t have a “soft limit” on the accelerator pedal that lets you know the limit of the all-electric mode. PHEVs that have that are easier to keep in all-electric mode because the driver knows exactly how far they can push the accelerator before the gasoline engine will turn on.
Notable timestamps in the video:
- 0:00 Intro
- 0:24 EPA range rating
- 2:20 The test begins
- 4:50 At 50% SOC – halfway through
- 5:42 Back at home – range test wrapup
Kyle Conner recently conducted the 70-mph range test with a Toyota RAV4 Prime, the closest PHEV competitor to the Jeep 4xe. Kyle was able to drive the RAV4 Prime 31.6 miles (50.9 km) before the gas engine fired up.
The Rav4 Prime is EPA range rated at 42 miles (67.6 km) per charge, so in Kyle’s 70-mph range test he was only able to drive the vehicle 75% of its range rating.
The Jeep 4xe only covered 21.8 miles (35.1 km), but that is actually a little better than its EPA range rating, which is interesting. Considering the Jeep 4xe has a usable battery capacity of 15 kWh, its electric driving efficiency during our test was a thirsty 1.45 mi/kWh (42.75 kWh/100km)
Jeep Wrangler 4xe specs:
- Range (all-electric)
EPA: 21 miles (34 km) and 370 miles (595 km) total
- 17.3 kWh battery
Samsung SDI lithium-ion NMC cells; 96 cells total
- 0-60 mph (96.5 km/h) in 6 seconds
- peak system output of 280 kW (375-hp) and 637 Nm (470 lb.-ft.) of torque
2.0-litre turbocharged gasoline I-4 engine with a high-voltage, liquid-cooled belt-connected motor-generator unit, replacing the conventional alternator.
Motor generator unit (134 horsepower / 181 pound-foot) integrated into an eight-speed automatic transmission.
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