The first rule of selling is, “People buy on emotion and justify their decision later with facts.” If that is so, the first battery-electric Jeep should appeal to lots of people. Shown yesterday in brilliant yellow, it is an emotional vehicle that should have customers banging on the door to get one. I am a happy Tesla Model Y owner, but when I first saw the photos of this as yet unnamed Jeep BEV, I thought to myself, “Wow! That is a seriously good looking car. I could see myself driving that!”
Not only did the company not tell us the name of this new car, it also declined to provide many details about it. Autoblog says it looks like it’s a relatively small SUV, similar in size to the Jeep Compass. However, it is not always possible to judge the size of electric cars from photos. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 looked rather small in pictures, but is actually quite large in person.
The beauty of the new Jeep is that it looks exactly the way a Jeep should look — bold, brawny, and beefy. Those are the characteristics that are the emotional signature of all Jeeps. Traditional customers will not feel they are being cheated of that sense of “Jeep-ness” that has defined the brand for generations.
Autoblog says, “The design is what we would expect from Jeep. It’s suitably chunky with chiseled fender lines and plenty of plastic cladding. It also has a contrasting roof color and split headlights. The rear door has a hidden handle up in the C-pillar, and the taillights have an “X” motif like that of the Renegade.”
The magazine speculates that the new Jeep may be built on the STLA Small platform that Stellantis uses to underpin many of its battery electric models, which will accommodate up to an 82 kWh battery. If so, that will be enough for an expected range of around 300 miles. The new member of the Jeep family is scheduled to go on sale in 2023 and will be followed by a two other models, one with more of a off-road focus and the other a “lifestyle family SUV.” Both are expected in 2024.
For awhile, it appeared Jeep was on the list of automakers in danger of being run over by the EV revolution. But after yesterday’s announcements, it seems there may be a future for company yet. My colleague Jo Borrás has just posted an article explaining the new Dare Forward 2030 plan from Stellantis, parent company of Jeep. Not only does it promise every new car introduced by Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram will be available as a battery-electric vehicle from 2026 on, the company is also promising to cut its total emissions by 50% compared to 2021 by the year 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2038. That is far sooner than many of its competitors. Kudos, Stellantis. Well played!