Jeep parent FCA US has filed for a patent to solve one problem of off-roading electric vehicles—the need for spending long amounts of time at low speeds, with high torque on tap. A patent filed earlier this week, credited to Richard S. Silbert, has one solution: a two-speed gearbox to provide the EV equivalent of 4xe Low.
BEVs normally have a single speed. The Charger Daytona EV will have a two speed automatic, with one gear for higher speeds, presumably to increase the top speed and to reduce highway “electron consumption.” A future Jeep EV—Recon or Wrangler—will presumably do the same, but for high control at very low speeds.
The patent covers a gearbox with a planetary gear set and carrier for each axle, with independently controlled four clutches; it can presumably let either axle freewheel for on-road economy or towing. The proposed gearbox has a 3:1 ratio but could presumably be designed with a higher or lower ratio; a 3:1 ratio was likely judged the best solution for offroad use, given the high torque of electric motors from a full stop.
Jeep seems serious about keeping its off-road credentials, even in an electrically powered future. It will start producing the offroad-oriented Jeep Recon later this year, and the Wrangler BEV has already been announced for future production.