Jeep plans to electrify its carsJanuary 17, 2020
If you like the atmosphere of the old school Jeep, you will find a shock. On the other hand, imagine how cool it would be to have a quiet electric car.
Did you know that this will happen: Jeep President Christian Meunier around the world says the company is gearing up for electric and hybrid versions of classic SUVs starting in the Chinese Jeep Commander market. As shown at the CES technology show earlier in January, Jeep electrification in the United States will begin with hybrid versions of the Renegade, Compass and Wrangler called 4xe. By 2022, every Jeep in the lineup will have a hybrid or electric option, he said.
In the few months since Christian Meunier took over the management of Jeep around the world, the new global president of the Jeep brand has made it clear that he pays less attention to interior details and luxury goods, and more to technology. As expected, the whole industry is moving along with the off-road icon. Christian recently told Car and Driver that his plans for the Jeep brand in the 2020s include an aggressive plan to launch a plug-in hybrid module and then an electric Jeep over the next decade.
This is ambitious, given that Jeep only released its first hybrid in November 2019. Commander’s plug-in hybrid option in the Chinese market is an SUV about the size of a Grand Cherokee, which starts at $ 44,070 after Chinese subsidies.
China’s position as the largest automobile sales market in the world means that this country is the reason for the oversized size of many Jeep electrification plans. Cars there are taxed and classified by engine size, while larger engines become excessively expensive. However, hybrids and electric cars lead to a short circuit of these rules, so they are available to a much larger number of buyers in the market. Luckily for us, consumers in the US can also take advantage of these greener cars.
What we get in the US – partly because of this Chinese effort, according to Meunier – is a range of hybrid and electric Jeeps. “We bring as many electric models as we can. Next year we will have Renegade, Compass and Wrangler, ”he said. For home followers, this will be half of the Jeep models available in the US. others are Cherokee, great Cherokee and gladiators. We showed you images of a Wrangler hybrid mule traveling in southeast Michigan last March.
Three hybrid models per year? This is a pretty aggressive schedule, and it will be interesting to see if the Jeep can hit it. So far, hybrids have certainly been a mixed package for manufacturers. Representing about 2 percent or less of new car sales in the United States since 2015 (and never exceeding 3.2 percent since 2001), hybrids have hardly captured the public’s desire. However, Toyota translated as many as 25 percent of all RAV4s sold last year in a hybrid specification, so there are clearly winners at that spot.
By 2022, Meunier promises that all Jeep models will have an electrified version, which could mean a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or all-electric. Although this sounds ambitious, it largely corresponds to industry trends and the timing of production of competing manufacturers, both domestic and foreign. FCA as a whole is moving towards greater hybridization, and the sharing of components and technologies will be the key to making this a fast and cost-effective implementation of electrical technology.
However, it is important to note that we have absolutely no information on the future all-electric Jeep model.
Meunier did not provide anything, but he expressed concern about the prospects of off-road in the Wrangler under a battery-only engine. He talked about joining EV silence with pleasure to be in a remote country with remote doors, an open roof, and a Wrangler crawling over slippery rock. For him, this would make this experience much closer to nature. Well, that makes sense if you look at it like that.
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