Stellantis’s Jeep brand, late to the clean-vehicle market, still aims to become the leader in electric SUVs.
Jeep took its time — but the iconic all-terrain-vehicle brand finally got here.
“Here” is the brand’s first 100%-electric vehicle. And the company is not hiding its ambition to unseat Tesla (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc. Report as the dominant force in the SUV segment of green vehicles.
Indeed, Elon Musk’s firm, the world’s No. 1 in electric vehicles, and its Model Y SUV are the benchmark for green SUVs. The Model Y is one of Tesla’s bestsellers, along with the entry-level Model 3 sedan.
The Austin automaker doesn’t go into detail when releasing its vehicle deliveries, but the Model Y and Model 3 together accounted for 94.6% of the 343,830 vehicles Tesla delivered in the third quarter.
Jeep, a division of Stellantis (STLA) – Get Stellantis N.V. Report, which was born from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and the French Peugeot-Citroen group, seems undaunted by Tesla’s standing.
The group relies on its history and its place in the collective imagination to quickly find its place on the market. And it has just unleashed its first weapon in the counterattack against Tesla and other auto manufacturers, including Ford (F) – Get Ford Motor Company Report and its Mustang Mach-E.
That weapon is the Jeep Avenger, which was unveiled Oct. 17 at the Paris Auto Show.
The Jeep Avenger comes with a new electric motor and a new battery. The battery has a range of 400 kilometers (249 miles) on a single charge.
The firm says that on a fast charger, three minutes of charge provides 30km (18 miles) of travel, and 24 minutes of charge brings the battery to 80% from 20%. (Using less powerful AC charging, a full charge for the Avenger takes 5.5 hours.)
A 400-volt electric motor gives the car 156 horsepower, and 260 Nm (pound-feet) of torque. The new Avenger is 4.08m (13.5 feet) long, or 16cm (6.3 inches) shorter than the Renegade. It has a short front, rear overhang and larger wheels.
The Avenger has classic Jeep features, including hill-descent control and Selec-Terrain, which gives you six modes of driving to match driving conditions.
“The new Jeep Avenger represents a key milestone for the brand as it is the first of a portfolio of all-new Jeep [battery-electric vehicles] to be introduced in Europe.” said Christian Meunier, chief executive for the Jeep brand.
“It offers Jeep-brand capability that is right-sized for the European market. And at the Paris Motor Show, we are showcasing why it is a great all-electric Jeep brand alternative to current players in the B-SUV segment.”
Indeed, the Jeep Avenger is intended for the European market as well as Japan and Korea. Jeep has started marketing; the vehicle will reach showrooms in 2023.
Jeep Avenger’s Starting Price
Customers can prebook the Jeep Avenger Launch Edition until Nov. 30, said the company, which plans to introduce four all-electric vehicles in Europe by 2025.
The Avenger’s starting price is under 30,000 euros (US$29,400) after deducting government subsidies for clean vehicles, a Jeep spokesperson told TheStreet.
The brand wants to achieve 50% of U.S. sales and 100% of Europe sales in electric vehicles by 2030. That’s an ambitious objective that fits perfectly with the promises contained in the Dare Forward 2030 plan.
In the U.S. the first 100%-electric SUV launched by the Jeep brand will be the Recon, as TheStreet’s Ellen Chang wrote last month.
Jeep had promised that the Recon will be a new model designed from scratch. It will be built on one of Stellantis’s new platforms, and it will be equipped with real-crossing capabilities — simple transition from on-road to off-road driving — thanks to the Jeep Selec-Terrain system..
The company plans to debut the Recon in 2023. This model will have a one-touch sunroof and removable doors. Produced in the U.S., the Jeep Recon will be marketed in the brand’s main markets, including in Europe.
Emblematic of the American manufacturer: The Jeep Wagoneer will also have an electric version. The next generation of this premium SUV will feature a 600hp engine and is expected to offer up to 373 miles of range.
Produced in North America from 2024, this model will be presented next year and will be also offered in Europe.