A big question a lot of drivers from the northern regions ask is how an electric or plug-in-hybrid electric vehicle’s battery range is affected by cold weather. To find out Publisher Tim Esterdahl puts the new Wrangle 4xe to the test on a cold and windy Nebraska afternoon. Will the 2021 Wrangler 4xe winter range differ from the estimated range and by how much?
Vehicle batteries have liquid in them and in cold weather, this liquid can change viscosity and affect the total power output of a battery. Some people estimate up to 40% range loss in weather 20 degrees and below. This is why a lot of people are concerned about electric vehicles in northern climates. But is the range loss really something to worry about?
When Esterdahl performs the Wrangle 4xe range loss test, it’s a really windy day. The temperature is 32 degrees with a feels-like of 22 degrees. As you’ll see in the video below he drives in all-EV mode with the heated seats and steering wheel on and the heat set to 76 degrees until the battery is empty. He updates with the stats all along the way.
This Wrangler is a Rubicon and looks like any other bright red Wrangler Rubicon on the road, except for some bright blue accents, tow hooks and a 4xe badge. Oh, and you’ll also notice the plug-in port on the driver’s side front quarter panel. But unlike a lot of EVs and PHEVs on the market today, the Jeep still looks very much like the off-road vehicle we all know and love. It’s not futuristic like something out of the Jetsons.
According to the manual, it should take 10-15 hours to get a full charge (20 miles of range) on a 110 outlet and 2-3 hours on a 220. For the everyday driver with a short commute charging overnight on one’s household outlet is no big deal. For someone driving longer distances or those who have a longer commute and may use all their range on the way to work and want to charge during work hours to allow for EV driving on the way home, a public charger should top this vehicle off pretty quickly.
For most of this trip, Tim is driving 45-55 MPH, which is the speed limit in his area. When he gets out on the highway the engine kicks on at 65 MPH, even when the vehicle is in all EV mode so he quickly gets back off the highway to continue his test.
At 5 miles in the vehicle’s computer estimated the Jeep had used half the battery’s range. It’s a good thing regenerative braking helps to conserve power and even recharge the battery because Esterdahl still has 15 miles to go. Or does he?
Check out the video to see just how far Esterdahl makes it on a full battery and what he thinks of the Wrangler 4xe winter range.