Let's bring all the players into the plugged-in mix.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep Grand Cherokee

It seems even the iconic Jeep brand is now considering adding a plug-in hybrid setup to some or all of its exiting vehicles.

According to Drive, a hybrid "Jeep is inevitable."

Looming emissions regulations will eventually force Jeep to electrify, but what route will the brand choose?

Chrysler’s Asia-Pacific product planning manager, Steve Bartoli, told Drive the following:

“We are absolutely looking at different things in that field and we are very active behind the scenes in the development of these systems and how it fits into our profile."

“With greenhouse gas and regulatory constraints around the world, it is definitely pushing our hand in that way but we haven’t made any decisions on that and we’re not ready to talk about that.”

“There is a lot of opportunity there .”

This Jeep Plug-In Hybrid Prototype Was Revealed Back in 2008

This Jeep Plug-In Hybrid Prototype Was Revealed Back in 2008

While none of those comments necessarily suggest a plug-in hybrid, it's the electrified option that makes the most sense to us.  Conventional hybrids haven't established themselves as performance machines, but there exists several plug-in hybrids that outperform the ICE versions of the same model.

If performance, torque and go-anywhere matter to Jeep, then plug-in hybrid is the route the brand will choose.

Why not pure electric?  As Bartoli states:

“We always want to make sure a Jeep can get you home.”

“These are very complex and expensive systems, not just for us to develop but also for the consumers. Not only that, but range is a very important issue and we need to make sure how we can fit that into our systems because you don’t want to be stuck in a creek in an electric Jeep that is going nowhere."

“It is still a big problem in that regard so we need to understand it a bit more.”

Jeep understands that electric motors provide instant torque, which would be useful in the off-road environment, but the amount of torque a Jeep needs would suggest to us that a conventional hybrid setup won't suffice, so we say it'll be the plug-in hybrid route that Jeep eventually chooses.

*I bet you're now wondering what the specs were on that 2008 Jeep plug-in hybrid prototype shown in the image to your right.  Here's the rundown:

  • The electric motor generated 200 kW (268 HP) and 400 Nm (295 lb.-ft.) of torque
  • Total range was 400 miles
  • Electric range was 40 miles
  • 0 to 60 mph was 9 seconds
  • Top speed was 90 mph
Source: Drive