It is planned that by the end of the decade EVs will account for half of Stellantis sales in North America. This is a figure that Menier is not sure the region can support today. The Biden administration also wants half of the new cars sold in the U.S. by 2030 to be zero-emission.
Jeep’s transition to electrification is “happening very fast with our vision of zero emission freedom, which is really our guideline for the brand,” Menier said this month. “We are now in the midst of a major transformation that will shape our brand in the next 20 years.”
The prospect of the Jeep line of cars in the U.S. through the 2022 lens may seem daunting, but that reality may look more achievable in the future as the country develops a wider charging network, said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of ideas for Edmunds. .
Caldwell said the Jeep will have to maintain the spirit of “going anywhere” with its EVs. She believes that Jeep can offer different ranges of models depending on the preferred use. Those who will spend most of their ride in urban environments may not need the same distance as track enthusiasts.
“This unique Jeep point of sale is an image that you can go anywhere, do anything, and EV at this point can sometimes be quite limited depending on where you are,” Caldwell said. “But I think if we move and build more infrastructure and charging becomes easier, even more accessible in different places, I think then we’ll start to see another world where you can go off-road in places like Yellowstone, Yosemite or Maab.
Matt Degen, editor of the Kelley Blue Book, said a positive response to 4xe cars could be an early sign of strong demand for Jeep’s electric options. He believes a growing collection of chargers near the trail could turn into a gathering place for the Jeep community as they recharge their batteries.
Degen crossed with the Rubicon ten years ago on the Wrangler and remembers that it only took hours to travel just seven miles over rocky terrain. Many tracks aren’t very long, Degen said, so the problem of range doesn’t always come into play.
The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4xe has already completed the Rubicon using only the battery.
“As for the range, you just obviously need a lot of power to climb over these huge boulders and what’s not yet, and that’s what electric motors provide, so in that sense, I think it can work.” said Dagen. “Especially if you have a few charging points along the way, maybe at the beginning of the path, at the end of the trail. It might work for them. It’s not like you’re driving through the Sahara here.”