When Jeep‘s new global president Christian Meunier took over the position, he made it clear that he is steering the brand to a new direction—focusing less on interior features and luxuries and more on technology.
This claim was strengthened by the reveal of hybrid versions of the Renegade, Compass, and Wrangler at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, as well as the introduction of the “4xe” nameplate under which the three models will fall.
In a recent interview, Meunier shared his plans for Jeep, which include an aggressive strategy to launch plug-in hybrid and electric models in the coming years. Apparently, Jeep wants a hybrid or electric variant for every model in its lineup by the year 2022.
Experts, however, think this is an ambitious goal considering the automaker just launched its very first hybrid in November last year—a plug-in version of its China-exclusive Jeep Commander that’s about the size of a Grand Cherokee and costs $44,070.
China’s reputation as the world’s largest automotive sales market is one of the main reasons behind Jeep’s electrification plans because cars there are taxed and classified by engine size. Hybrids and EVs generally have smaller engines, hence the growing demand for these models, which also benefits U.S. consumers in the long run.
“We’re bringing as many electric Jeeps as we can. Next year, we will have the [plug-in-hybrid] Renegade, Compass, and Wrangler,” Meunier said.
The three models comprise half of the Jeep models currently sold in the U.S., with the other half being Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and Gladiator. And the release of three hybrid models in the same year proves how much work Jeep is putting into its electrification efforts.
So far, the hybrid market is still a fairly uncharted territory for manufacturers in the U.S., with the segment representing only about 2 percent of new-car sales in America since 2015.