It was clear at the beginning of this year that the fusing of FCA and PSA Groupe into the 4th largest automaker giant in the world, Stellantis, would mark a significant shift in the industry. The merger has really allowed consumers to see a clear hierarchy of vehicle evolution and environmental awareness among not just the fourteen brands under the Stellantis umbrella, but in the automotive industry as a whole. In the last six months, Jeep has outstandingly proven itself to be a leading brand as it spearheads the electrification era with its patented 4xe hybrid vehicles. Jeep’s assertion couldn’t have come at a better or more convenient time; this year marks Jeep’s 80th anniversary, and boy do they have a lot to show for it. Jeep’s prowess as a brand and as an icon of American ingenuity and patriotism has even gone so far now that a fully-electric Jeep Wrangler EV submarine doesn’t feel even unusual, even to brand CEO Christian Meunier.
A Water-Tight Jeep Wrangler EV Isn’t That Absurd
Meunier said that he wanted Jeep to be “the greenest SUV brand on the market” last year even before the Stellantis merger. Now over a year later, Meunier told The Detroit Free Press that Jeep plans to have a fully battery-electric model in each segment by 2025, add autonomous capabilities, and maybe even go fully underwater; as electric vehicles do not require any air to operate, and if the battery packs are fully sealed and protected, there’s little risk of moisture ruining them.
While that last little “underwater” tidbit may seem a little far-reaching, it’s necessary to draw in some perspective to the vehicle evolution timeline. Just a few years ago, a hybrid Jeep Wrangler would’ve seemed outlandish to anyone outside of a few Jeep engineers and senior-level executives. Now, the Jeep Wrangler 4xe, which gets almost 50 miles to the gallon, has surpassed the Toyota Prius in quarterly sales numbers. That’s a pretty absurd statistic considering Wrangler customers are used to only seeing their fuel consumption only go down as they add lift kits, exhausts, and 35-inch mud grapplers.
Jeep Is Positioning Itself To Make It Happen
Jeep is building its plug-in hybrid-electric foundation to go beyond just the Wrangler 4xe and ultimately to fully-electric. The Jeep Gladiator will receive a 4xe designation soon, and just last week we saw the debut of the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe PHEV. Even the Renegade and Compass models are getting in on the action. While the demand for hybrid Jeeps continues to grow, the brand itself is setting its hybrid customers, as well as future fully-electric customers, up for success. Earlier this year, Jeep announced the creation of their own network of 4xe charging stations. All of this means that by the time 2025 rolls around and fully-electric Jeep vehicles are no longer the future but the present, we’ll be on the cusp of getting an underwater-capable, Jeep Wrangler EV. At least that’s what Christian Meunier says.
Jeep Envisions “Life Electrified”
The submarining Jeep Wrangler is a reference to the Jeep “Life Electrified” video that the company put out just last week. The last few seconds show a Wrangler, lights on, crawling across the surface of the ocean floor. While Christian Meunier said that kind of technology will probably come post-2030, it’s likely to come sooner. Jeep enthusiasts already take their vehicles through deep waters with and without the help of aftermarket snorkels. Imagine what’s possible with a fully-electric Wrangler that doesn’t need to let an internal combustion engine breathe. Just seal up the ECU, electric motors, and batteries, add an oxygen tank to the cabin, and then booyah! Jeep Wrangler Submarine. That’s not too hard, right Jeep? After all, Jeeps are meant to go anywhere and do anything.