Jeep’s plan to go from gas-guzzling SUVs to ‘green’ off-road EVs

Jeep Grand Wagoneer Strategy

Fiat Chrysler

DETROIT — America’s quintessential SUV model Jeep needs to change its reputation from gas guzzlers to “inexperienced” electrified autos to lure new buyers and retain its off-highway leadership amid an inflow of new competitors.

Jeep is expected to be a critical section of expansion and electrification options for Stellantis, its new father or mother organization formed earlier this year by means of the merger of Fiat Chrysler and French automaker Groupe PSA.

The model presently only has a few plug-in hybrid electric powered motor vehicles obtainable outside the house the U.S. and a new PHEV of its flagship Wrangler SUV, a auto that will be marketed globally, arriving in domestic showrooms through spring. These cars are just the commencing of the brand’s programs, in accordance to Jeep CEO Christian Meunier.

“Our vision is to be the greenest SUV brand name in the globe,” he told CNBC. “We have a incredibly potent strategy to supply that as a result of a good deal of remarkable product or service in the pipeline.”

Each individual new Jeep will supply some type of electrification in the following number of yrs, Meunier has stated. These ideas are anticipated to contain all-electric automobiles as very well as hybrid and PHEVs that combine electrification with inside combustion engines. The motor vehicles will be bought with a new “4xe” badge, a perform on the brand’s off-road standing blended with electrification.

Jeep on Monday unveiled a new all-electrical variation of the Wrangler as a idea automobile known as the “Magneto.” It came months right after a Grand Wagoneer notion that was a PHEV. Automakers use principle autos to gauge client curiosity or demonstrate the upcoming path of a car or truck or manufacturer.

“It truly is a sustainable, stealthy, rock-climbing drive,” Jeep North America vice president Jim Morrison claimed through a media event for the Magneto. “It is really a zero-emissions notion vehicle with Jeep 4×4 ability taken to the up coming amount.”

It is a job Meunier states Jeep is up to accomplishing. But reputations and items cannot be transformed right away. It will acquire a long time to make Jeep’s eyesight a fact.

“Jeep has been way driving in electrification,” explained Michelle Krebs, government analyst at Cox Automotive. “It truly is a substantial, formidable leap to assume they are likely to jump to the best of the heap. They have a great deal of level of competition in that regard.”

Why electrify Jeep?

Why electrify Jeep soon after many years of generating fuel-guzzling SUVs? It really is currently being driven by tightening carbon emissions criteria and fuel financial state regulations throughout the globe. Jeep also is experiencing stress from future rivals this kind of as EV start out-up Rivian and Basic Motors, which is resurrecting its Hummer nameplate as new off-road, all-electrical SUVs and pickups.

“Electrification is a big option for us,” Meunier stated. “It will open some new dimensions mainly because we are total speed ahead with it.”

The Jeep Wrangler Magneto strategy is a totally electric powered SUV primarily based on a two-doorway 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.


Jeep is by considerably the ideal-providing brand name for Stellantis in the U.S. Electric powered and hybrid Jeeps will support the automaker fulfill gasoline financial state requirements. The organization is expending billions on environmental regulatory credits globally to prevent heftier fines for not conference carbon emissions.

Aside from the regulatory advantages, Jeep executives say it tends to make feeling for the outdoors manufacturer to be far more environmentally helpful. Electrification also can strengthen the effectiveness of the autos, particularly in acceleration and even some off-highway capabilities.

“The DNA of Jeep is extremely organized for electrification,” Meunier explained. “The brand is one with mother nature by definition.”

‘Significant growth’

The Wrangler 4xe PHEV is between a handful of new or redesigned motor vehicles coming out this yr for Jeep, most of which feature conventional inner combustion engines.

Following the Wrangler 4xe into dealerships is a new three-row model of Jeep’s finest-providing Grand Cherokee as nicely as a redesigned variation of the two-row SUV, including a new PHEV edition, later this 12 months. Jeep’s prolonged-awaited Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer full-measurement SUVs are expected to arrive in vendor showrooms in the course of the next fifty percent of the year as nicely. It really is also launching a new V-8 version of the Wrangler.

The new solutions are predicted to lead to “substantial expansion” for Jeep in the U.S., Meunier stated. “We have a pretty, very busy 12 months,” he reported. “It truly is heading to be the year of Jeep,” adding it really is the brand’s 80th anniversary this yr. Jeep unveiled specific-edition cars to commemorate the milestone at the conclude of very last yr.

Meunier’s self-confidence comes regardless of raising opposition in crossovers and SUVs. Most notably, Ford Motor is resurrecting its Bronco SUV as a new “spouse and children” of cars, which include a new crossover identified as a Bronco Sport and approaching, more standard SUV types later this year.    

“We are heading to have substantial growth,” Meunier explained, citing sustainable development focused on gain margins as effectively as building loyalty. “We’re heading to do it right.”