Back in the early days of the LX cars, Chrysler developed a system to cut down on fuel use in all wheel drive cars: disconnecting the front wheels when all wheel drive wasn’t needed. The rear wheels would be the only powered wheels most of the time, and when extra traction was called for, the front wheels would be hooked back up to power.
A similar setup ended up in front-drive-based Jeeps with all wheel drive, only this time the rear wheels were decoupled.
In battery-electric vehicles, it’s common to have two motors, one for the front wheels and one for the rear wheels; but Stellantis may be the first to have patented a disconnection system for electric cars, to increase range. The idea allows for wheels to continue to generate power from braking, but to only be driven when needed, for the ultimate in electric-vehicle efficiency.
US Patent 11,535,098 is credited to Renato Badino of Turin; filed in April 2022, it was just granted yesterday. The patent might be quite handy for the upcoming Jeep based on the Wagoneer S concept.