Trucks and SUVs aren't typically known for being environmentally friendly thanks to a history of models that guzzle gas and emit tons upon tons of carbon into the atmosphere. Jeep, though, wants to change this public image by becoming the “greenest SUV brand in the world” by 2022, according to an interview with the brand's global president, Christian Meunier.
Australian auto outlet Car Advice recently sat down with Meunier and learned of reported plans to electrify Jeep’s entire lineup. This would all be in an effort to reduce the company’s carbon footprint by improving fuel efficiency while also reducing tailpipe emissions.
"We want to make it more of a sustainable, iconic brand, not only an off-road brand," Meunier said during the interview. "Expand the capability off-road into more of on-road capability, all-weather capability, and fully sustainable and I think that's why when I said we want to become the greenest SUV brand in the world, we mean it and that is what the company is going to deliver."
This could mean an influx of electrified Compass, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, Renegade, Wrangler, and Gladiator models. Look for these to include Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles’ latest 48-volt mild hybrid system, which can also be found in select Ram 1500 pickup trucks.
In the Ram 1500 eTorque’s application, the truck’s engine is fitted with an auxiliary starter and generator combination that also features a small electric motor which drives the engine’s crankshaft.
Jeep currently offers fuel-saving turbocharged four-cylinder variants of some models, while larger and more expensive offerings come with a Pentastar V6 or Hemi V8; there's also a diesel V6 in the mix for Wrangler customers. And while gas and diesel may be loved by Jeep fans, some have been clamoring for electrification because of the instant torque electric motors can provide, a potential benefit for off-road enthusiasts on the trails.
Company executives didn’t disclose specific future product plans, but they did suggest that everyone keep their eyes peeled over the next year or so. Back in 2017, Jeep confirmed that a plug-in hybrid Wrangler would debut in 2020 alongside a plug-in Renegade.
"We have exciting plans to invigorate the brand, which we will reveal to you in the next few months," Kevin Flynn, Jeep Australia’s new managing director said to close the interview. "We're working on a significant plan, and 2020 will be a big year for us."