Speaking to a bunch of Aussie reporters, Jeep global president Christian Meunier reportedly claimed the entire lineup, including the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Gladiator, will get either plug-in hybrid or battery-electric drivetrains in the next couple of years.
For a brand that only just got a diesel-powered Wrangler to the market, a rapid move to electrifying its entire lineup in just two years seems a little far-fetched, though we know plans are already in place for a hybrid Jeep Wrangler next year, and the Renegade and Compass are already offered as a plug-in in Europe.
But the move to hybrids and EVs will also signal a big culture change for Jeep, which some of us may not be too thrilled to hear come out of the global president’s mouth, via CarAdvice:
In short, the last decade, globally, has been a significant one for the brand, given the fivefold increase in sales. Jeep believes a roll out of forward-facing electrified models will only help its sales growth continue.
“We want to make it more of a sustainable, iconic brand, not only an off-road brand,” Meunier said.
“Expand the capability off-road into more of on-road capability, all-weather capability, and fully sustainable and I think that’s why when I said we want to become the greenest SUV brand in the world, we mean it and that is what the company is going to deliver.”
While I’m not very thrilled about the prospect of more attempts at “on-road” Jeeps, given our nightmarish past with stuff like the Liberty, Commando, and early Compass, it’s a logical move for a company who has to pay Tesla hundreds of millions of dollars to offset its horrible average fleet emissions—even if they had tons of concepts a decade ago they never pushed through.
But beyond emissions and improved efficiency, just think of the... torque we might get? This one is admittedly kind of a hard read for me. I’ve never felt too committed to a Jeep engine.
Jalopnik reached out to Jeep for confirmation and more info and will update when more is available.