When you start ruminating on adjectives to describe the Jeep brand with, “green” probably isn’t the first one that springs to mind. The nameplate’s wide range of SUVs are many things — capable, capacious, attractive — but fuel-efficient hasn’t traditionally been viewed as a priority for the brand that values off-road prowess above eco-friendly powertrains.
That seems like it’s about to change, however. At a recent event in New Zealand, Christian Meunièr, Jeep’s global president, told Australia’s WhichCar that his brand is planning on becoming “the greenest SUV brand in the world.”
The idea of electrically-assisted SUVs with seven-bar grilles isn’t that new, mind you. Last year, then-Jeep CEO (and current Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO) Mike Manley announced that Jeep would be rolling out a hybrid version of every single model by 2022. That includes not just the current six-vehicle lineup of Renegade, Compass, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, Wrangler and Gladiator, but several new vehicles as well, such as a sub-Renegade baby Jeep and the giant new Grand Wagoneer. Manley also said the company would roll out four pure electric vehicles by then — a surprising claim, considering FCA currently offers the sum total of a single EV in the form of the money-losing, hacked-together Fiat 500e.
Meunièr went on record claiming that those hybridized and electrified Jeeps will be “the best Jeeps ever,” according to WhichCar, offering more power, more capability and more speed than previous models. Considering the current lineup includes the notably zippy 707-hp Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, we’re excited to see how the brand uses electrification to push its models to even higher levels of performance. Guess we’ll find out in around two to three years, huh?