The Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe has finally debuted in the metal and plugged into a charging station, noting at its plug-in hybrid powertrain. This is the second electrified Jeep model coming to the U.S. following the Wrangler Unlimited 4xe. In other global markets, Jeep offers two other plug-in hybrid models; the Compass 4xe and the Renegade 4xe.
These vehicles form the first step in Jeep’s electrification strategy and more models are coming. Jeep promises that it will have an electrified vehicle in every SUV segment by 2025 with 70 percent of vehicles sold being electrified in some form. This also includes the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, since both vehicles are considered an extension of the Jeep brand. Christian Munier, CEO of Jeep, sees electrification as the most significant change for the brand and the opportunity to futureproof it for long-term profitability, growth, and value.
To cater and push electrification, Jeep will build a whole infrastructure to support their customers. The first of those is the opening of solar-powered charging stations on trails to help electrified Jeeps stay powered while off the beaten path. That will eventually expand in 2025 with connected services and features like biometric recognition, peer-to-peer charging that allow cars to charge each other, a way to connect the vehicle with gadgets like drones, remote vehicle tracking, and autonomous driving capability.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe will likely be powered by the same powertrain as the Wrangle 4xe. That means a 2.0-liter turbo-four coupled to an electric motor, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and a 17.3-kWh lithium-ion battery. Expect it to travel farther in EV mode thanks to its lighter weight and slightly better aerodynamics. The plug-in hybrid powertrain should also provide superior off-road capability and improved traction while improving overall efficiency. Jeep only revealed the five-passenger version of the Grand Cherokee 4xe and there’s no word yet on whether the Grand Cherokee L will also be offered with that powertrain.
Jeep’s strategy appears to be less aggressive than some of the other brands under the Stellantis umbrella. Their focus appears to be on plug-in hybrids in the near term and no mention has been made of when the first all-electric Jeep will debut. Earlier this year, the Wrangler Magneto Concept showed that it is possible to make a battery-electric off-road-focused SUV. We suspect that 2025, the same year Jeep plans to have an electrified option in every SUV segment, will also be when its first all-electric model will arrive.
The Jeep brand could also be one of the brands that will use all four of Stellantis’ upcoming platforms dedicated to battery-electric vehicles. Subcompact models like the successor to the Renegade will be on the STLA Small platform while the next iteration of the Compass and Cherokee will be on the STLA Medium architecture. Larger vehicles like the Grand Cherokee will be on the STLA Large. Body-on-frame models like the Wrangler, on the other hand, will be on the STLA Frame platform. However, keep in mind that each vehicle’s range will vary based on their size, shape, battery size, and weight. That means some variants may not be able to get the projected maximum range for each platform. One thing is for sure, though, the future electrified Jeeps will be just as capable or even more so than their internal combustion counterparts.