Jeep is ready to go all in on hybrids and electric vehicles to help carry the historic brand into the future. In fact, brand leaders think electrification can bring a number of benefits to their off-road SUVs, in addition to improved fuel economy. In a recent interview with with the folks across the pond at Autocar, Jeep boss Christian Meunier revealed his plans for an electric future.
Meunier told Autocar that the brand needs “many things” to “sustain it for the next 80 years”. Meunier admits that the target of making Jeep the “greenest, most sustainable SUV company” is going to be a challenge.
Jeep hybrid models aren’t a new thing. We already have the Wrangler available with the eTorque mild hybrid system. Additionally, the brand has also shown off Wrangler, Renegade and Compass PHEV models wearing the “4Xe” badge, and are expected to get around 31 miles of range. Meunier expects PHEV Jeep hybrid models to be especially important in markets with tightening emissions regulations, like Europe and China.
There are tactical benefits to electrification. For one, a Jeep EV can offer instant, 100-percent torque vectoring with a motor at each axle, and better acceleration. Meunier also told Autocar that PHEV or EV batteries could be used as an external power source. This could help power camping gear, making them even better off road adventure vehicles.
Meunier said we will see many new Jeeps with varying degrees of electrification over the next few years. The narrative that the brand is committing to is that it can use PHEV and EV models to create better SUVs, rather than using them to offset poor fuel economy (looking at you, Trackhawk). All of this technology will, of course, come at a price. Whether or not Jeep customers will agree to that price remains to be seen.