The Jeep is going electric.
Now the ground has been laid by the industry and people are aware it's coming for every brand, a Jeep with batteries shouldn't be met with revulsion. This isn't Bob Dylan suddenly walking onstage with an electric guitar and alienating an audience, it's the logical progression of technology and performance, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is embracing it.
According to a report from Which Car in Australia, FCA is planning on electrifying its Jeep SUVs as part of a plan to expand the brand worldwide. At an event in New Zealand, What Car reports that Jeep Global President Christian Meunièr said Jeep would be "the greenest SUV brand in the world."
That's a bold claim considering Volkswagen's plan to dominate the electric vehicle landscape over the coming decades. However, Meunièr's claim that electrified Jeeps will be "the best Jeeps ever" seems attainable given the torque and control that electrification can deliver in vehicles. Electrification also means meeting emissions standards in other countries will get a lot easier. Over the past ten years, Jeep's global sales have been growing steadily, and 1.5 million have been sold internationally in 2019 so far. That's a growth that started with 300,000 units in 2009 and should continue as more models are added to the global market.
The SUVs that are slated for electrification include the Jeep Renegade, the upcoming Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer models, the next-generation Grand Cherokee, and the Chinese-market seven-seat Grand Commander. The aim is to have plug-in hybrid or battery-only variants available along with internal combustion powertrains by 2022.
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee is expected to show its face next year. It's expected to be larger than the current model with a three-row option with seven seats. A leaked document shows there will be a huge technological improvement in the cabin. We already knew a plug-in variant was in the cards for the US market, and that now looks even more likely.