Jeep’s electric Recon will carry the spirit of the Wrangler in the EV era with almost 600 hp
One of the most highly anticipated off-road EVs, the Jeep Recon, is set to blaze its own trail. Inspired by the iconic Jeep Wrangler, the Recon will be a key piece as the American automaker transitions to an electric future.
As part of parent company Stellantis’ Dare Forward 2030 strategy, Jeep plans to become an all-electric brand in Europe with 50% EV sales in the US by the end of the decade.
The Avenger won Europe’s Car of the Year award this year but is not on sale in the US. Jeep’s first 100% electric vehicles in the US will be the Recon and Wagoneer S, set for production next year.
We caught a glimpse of the 2024 Recon Moab 4xe (likely the highest trim) in March after images leaked out of a dealer event held in Las Vegas.
The Recon is a “rugged and capable fully electric SUV” inspired by the Jeep Wrangler. Like the Wrangler, the Recon will feature options like removable doors and windows.
Jeep Recon to sit alongside the off-road Wrangler
Head of Jeep Europe, Antonella Bruno, confirmed the new electric SUV will sit alongside the Wrangler, but they will be positioned differently in the lineup.
Bruno explained, “The Recon in Europe will be a white-space car.” She added, “It’s a unique car, very boxy and very capable. It will sit in a lower part of the [market] segment to the Wrangler.”
According to Autocar, the electric SUV, which will be available in the UK, will feature nearly 600 hp with around 373 miles of range.
“At a global level, we want to be the 4×4 leader in electrification,” Bruno said. In the US, Jeep looks to continue its heritage of building vehicles built for any terrain.
Jim Morrison, head of Jeep North America, claimed the new electric Jeep Recon “has the capability to cross the might Rubicon Trail, one of the most challenging off-road trails in the US, and reach the end of the trail with enough range to drive back to town and recharge.”
The next Jeep EV to arrive will be the Wagoneer S, a premium midsize electric SUV. Jeep claims the electric Wagoneer will be fully loaded inside and out with 600 hp and up to 400 miles range.
The automaker claims it’s designed for a trip from New York City to Toronto on a single charge. Jeep’s Wagoneer S is expected to be available next year alongside the Recon.
US grid-scale energy storage installations soared in Q2 2023
The US battery energy storage market added 5,597 megawatt hours (MWh) in the second quarter of 2023, a new quarterly record.
The grid-scale segment of the industry drove the market with a record-breaking 5,109 MWh in Q2, beating the previous record in Q4 2021 by 5%, according to Wood Mackenzie and the American Clean Power Association’s (ACP) latest US Energy Storage Monitor report.
The grid-scale segment achieved 172% growth quarter-over-quarter. California was No. 1 among states with the most grid-scale energy storage installations, with 738 MW and a 49% share of installed capacity.
Wood Mackenzie projects the grid-scale segment to be the main driver of the market in its five-year forecast from 2023-27, accounting for 83% of total installations, or 55 gigawatts (GW).
ACP’s VP of research and analytics, John Hensley, said:
The energy storage market is on pace for a record year, as utilities and larger power users increasingly turn to storage to enhance the grid and improve reliability.
The market is on pace to nearly double annual installations despite supply chain challenges and interconnection delays, and will continue to grow quickly in coming years.
Community, commercial, and industrial (CCI) installations, at 107 MWh, were higher than any quarter in 2022 but couldn’t keep pace with the huge spike in Q1 installations, resulting in a 53% quarterly decline. However, the segment is still up 25% year-over-year.
Residential storage saw its second-straight quarter of decline at 381.2 MWh, behind Q1’s 388.2 MWh. California saw the biggest decline, decreasing 17% quarter-over-quarter and 37% year-over-year.
Vanessa Witte, senior analyst with Wood Mackenzie’s energy storage team, said, “We still project strong growth for the residential segment in our five-year outlook, reaching a total of 8 GW in 2027. However, the CCI segment continues to fail to meet growth projections and we have downgraded its five-year growth forecast by 28% to 3 GW.”
On Friday, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $325 million for 15 projects across 17 states and one tribal nation to accelerate the development of long-duration energy storage (LDES) technologies. The DOE has set a goal to reduce the cost of LDES by 90% by 2030.
Photo: Jupiter Power; Graphs: US Energy Storage Monitor Q3 2023 | American Clean Power Association, Wood Mackenzie
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Tesla releases update on Optimus robot with video looking like CGI
Tesla has released an update with progress on its Optimus humanoid robot with a video that almost looks like CGI.
Optimus, also known as Tesla Bot, has not been taken seriously by many outside of the more hardcore Tesla fans, and for good reasons.
When it was first announced, it seemed to be a half-baked idea from CEO Elon Musk with a dancer disguised as a robot for visual aid. It also didn’t help that the demo at Tesla AI Day last year was less than impressive.
At the time, Tesla had a very early prototype that didn’t look like much. It was barely able to walk around and wave at the crowd. That was about it.
But we did note that the project was gaining credibility with the latest update at Tesla’s 2023 shareholders meeting earlier this year.
At the time, Tesla showed several more prototypes that all looked more advanced and started to perform actually useful tasks.
Tesla has now released a new update on Optimus with a video showcasing the ability of the robot to sort objects autonomously:
Like the latest versions of Full Self-Driving, Tesla also notes that Optimus is now being trained with neural nets end-to-end.
The video shows that Tesla is again making progress with the Tesla bot, which looks more refined in this update. The mechanics look more stable with a prototype balancing on one foot.
The video even looks CGI at times, but everything points to Tesla actually having those working prototypes around its offices.
In a previous update on Optimus, Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed that the “Optimus stuff is extremely underrated.” The CEO said that the demand could be as high as 10 to 20 billion units.
He went as far as “confidently predicting” that Optimus will account for “a majority of Tesla’s long-term value.”
There’s no clear timeline for bringing the product to market, but Tesla is expected to first use it in its own operations.
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