Jeep Will Soon Sell E-Bikes

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
jeep will soon sell e bikes

Spending any amount of time in front of a television or computer screen on Groundhog Day likely resulted in you seeing the new Jeep Gladiator spot starring Bill Murray. As with most of the advertising done in the name of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, it was memorable and effective. Both Murray and the truck came across well, encouraging many to re-watch the fantastical 1993 comedy the ad is reliant upon while possibly browsing the Jeep website beforehand. Loaded with easter eggs from the film, it was probably the best automotive ad featured during Super Bowl LIV in a year loaded with healthy competition.

However, your author noticed something odd while watching. At one point, Bill taps Punxsutawney Phil atop his adorable little helmet as they prepare to journey through the snow on what appeared to be a Jeep-branded bicycle. The scene is so brief that it required a repeat viewing to be sure. Is Jeep seriously trying to get into the bicycle game?

You betcha.

While it didn’t come through normal channels, Jeep technically debuted the bike in the ad. It even has a website for it already up and running, which states it will be made available this June.

Called the Jeep e-Bike, the vehicle can be pedaled or cruised along using 750-watt electric motor. Jointly developed with the American-based QuietKat, who probably did most of the work, the e-Bike is said to have a battery good for 40 miles of range. That ought to be sufficient to handle any woodland trails you planned in advance and the fat, 4.8-inch tires the unit comes with should soak up the rough stuff far better than the rubber on your 11-speed Schwinn.

Our limited experience with electric bicycles prohibits us from making any assessments on how good e-Bike will be in comparison to the competition. But the 750-watt motor is on the higher end of what we’ve seen on the market and ought to make it a lot easier getting up those hills. Unfortunately, that probably means it won’t be as cheap as the dirt it’s running over. While Jeep branding is bound to tack on a few bucks, e-Bike is expected to use high grade components just about everywhere.

We think something a bit more economical, perhaps offered as part of a Jeep Gladiator package ( Honda Motocompo-style), would work swimmingly. It’d be a shame to see e-Bike turn into the brand’s weird cousin, forced into obscurity because nobody could figure out how to market them or build one for less than five figures.

We’ll have to wait to see if that’s the case. As of now, it doesn’t appear that the duo have settled on anything other than the frame and motor. But most of QuietKat’s current products retail for less than $6,000.

[Images: Jeep]

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2 of 8 comments
  • Downunder Downunder on Feb 06, 2020

    It's a pity that these will have to be registered in Australia as a motorbike with all the consequences of licensing, registration and insurance if we want to ride these on public roads.

  • Erikstrawn Erikstrawn on Feb 06, 2020

    A few years back my kids dragged home a dead Chinese Sun-L scooter from a yard sale. I stretched the frame to fit three 18aH batteries and switched out the 24v/300w motor and controller for a 36v/800w motor and controller. It had a range of about 5 miles and would do 25mph. It had enough torque to easily drive up out of the shallow ditch in my yard with my 180 lbs on it. I had a total of about $250 invested in it, and I'm pretty confident I could build a new one with 25 miles worth of lithium batteries for under a grand. I think $4k would be an appropriate price for a 40 mile range, but I'm sure they'll price it around $8k.

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