While we’ve all been swapping speculation over what the 2018 Jeep Wrangler will do, brainiacs in Korea have already revolutionized the current model by giving it electric power. These EV Wranglers aren’t highway-fast, but watching them climb steps is downright inspiring!
Apparently the CAD4X Laboratory at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology has been at this for some time, since this video’s already eight months old. I don’t know how I missed it when it was first uploaded, but I think these masterpieces warrant further investigation.
I only happened to find out about these Jeeps this week from my friend Michael Bream who runs EV West, a company converting classic cars to electric power in southern California. Bream told me this Korean group buys parts from his company, and actually inspired his next personal project.
(If we’re all lucky, I’ll have driving impressions of that Pinzgauer in a few months.)
In the meantime, enjoy watching these electric Jeeps doing Jeep stuff! There are water crossings, dirt pile scrambles, driving up a riverway and of course scaling staircases.
Jeep actually made its own EV Wrangler way back when the current JK bodystyle was still pretty new, and we know a hybrid version is in the 4x4's future. But I haven’t seen anybody work an electric Wrangler as hard as the folks at CAD4X are doing here.
The video tells us the Jeeps are powered by “dual 60 kW motor” and a Kokam NMC battery. I’m not entirely sure if that means two 60 kW’ers for a total of 120 kW or just one, but the equivalent power output is claimed at 160 horsepower and about 210 ft-lbs of torque. And of course, that torque is instantaneous. You can tell by watching these things walk up obstacles!
Even on massive 37-inch mud terrain tires, the green Jeep seems to be getting plenty of juice to the ground and putting another JK with a diesel engine to shame.
It seems that CAD4X is led by Professional Naehyuck Chang. The group has already uploaded heaps of videos demonstrating the electric Jeeps in action, but the one embedded above seems to be a pretty complete roundup of all the others.
I’m going to try and get in touch with these guys to find out more about their project, because it’s awesome. I mean they basically made a life-sized R/C car!