Jeep is set to embark on an ambitious offensive to launch plug-in hybrids of its core 4x4s as the firm seeks to become an electrified car maker.
While slow to launch alternatively fuelled models, the SUV maker is just about to launch a plug-in hybrid version of its compact Renegade crossover – this being the first Jeep to wear the new ‘4xe’ badging that’s reserved for such models.
There will also be plug-in hybrid (PHEV) versions of the mid-size Compass and the rugged Wrangler off-roader, too. Both of these have already been shown, and are expected to arrive before the end of the year.
Christian Meunier, global president of the Jeep brand, told Autocar: “PHEV has a very strong role to play for us, we believe, because it gives a lot of advantages: a 50-kilometre [31-mile] range, zero emissions and then removes the [range] anxiety.”
Meunier also said that a number of electric Jeeps were on the cards, as the brand switches to become an electrified brand – rather than one selling purely petrol and diesel models, as it does in the UK currently.
He told Autocar: “There are so many things we need to bring together to make Jeep a modern, contemporary brand that will break through and sustain for the next 80 years.Enquire on a new Jeep
“There was a little evolution every year, but there’s a big revolution happening now. To make Jeep the greenest, most sustainable SUV company is a little bit of a challenge, but it’s the most exciting one.”
Jeep says that electrification will be as much about performance benefits as it is about reducing running costs, while the high-voltage batteries of all-electric models could offer external power – offering appeal to hardcore off-roaders.