When it comes to the possibility of hybrid powertrains in a future Jeep, it's not a question of "if" but "when." That's what Chrysler Asia-Pacific product planning manager Steve Bartoli is saying, according to the Australia publication Drive.

Bartoli was quick to add that Chrysler hasn't made any definite plans to build hybrid-electric powertrains for Jeep, and expressed concerns over the off-road performance and durability of such a powertrain. But he noted that increasingly strict greenhouse-gas emissions mandates in regions such as the US and Europe are pushing Jeep towards such a decision. Chrysler made hybrid versions of the Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango SUVs way back in 2008, but the models weren't exactly impressive on the fuel-economy front (they had a 20/22 city/highway MPG split, which was actually good for best-in-class efficiency) and were discontinued in short order.

Chrysler's only electrified vehicle sold in the US is actually the 500e electric vehicle made by sister company Fiat, and that model is sold in limited numbers and only in California. As a result of the lack of hybrids and the presence of such gas-guzzling SUVs, Chrysler-Fiat came in at rock bottom among the major US automakers in fleetwide fuel economy for the 2013 model year, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency's "Trends" report. Chrysler and Fiat vehicles averaged 21.6 miles per gallon, compared to the overall average 24.0 mpg, according to the EPA.


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  • 72 Comments
      Joe
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hopefully it works out better than the Silverado Hybrid. That thing had the price of a 3/4 ton, the performance of a mid-size truck, and minimal efficiency gains. Outside of cars it seems like there are still too many compromises on hybrids unless you do a lot of city driving.
      Jesus!
      • 1 Year Ago
      Finally saw one of these...two actually and both red as I recall. I can get over the front end but that madsive black plastic bumper in the back just ruins it all. They want to charge a premium price? Fine, at least paint the stinkin bumper!
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Diesel options would be nice too.
      Jesus!
      • 11 Months Ago
      Ok seriously aol/autoblog. Is it that difficult to make a working rating system? Why does it upvote when I downvote?!
      Pat
      • 1 Year Ago
      I love my Wrangler as much as it loves gas! I welcome a hybrid version. Aside from added mechanical complexity, I can't think of any drawbacks ... I can only think of positives ... Imagine the torque from an electric motor to climb over an obstacle!
        Seal Rchin
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Pat
        Yeah but it still will not be all that efficient, it is heavy, tires are not efficient and it is boxy. I am sure the'll manage to get 4-5 more MPGs but don't hope for anything else.
          Bradford
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Seal Rchin
          4-5 more MPGs?! I'm averaging 12mpg in my near-stock JK right now, so that would be a 30-40% improvement! I'd take it!
        raktmn
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Pat
        The only way a hybrid version of a Wrangler would make sense would be to make it a PHEV hybrid with at least 35 miles of range. That way even with lousy aerodynamics, it could at least guzzle watts instead of guzzling gas. Folks using their Wranglers for grocery-getters would likely report the same 100+ MPG ratings that Volt owners get (see voltstats.net for details). But Chrysler doesn't even need to make the Wrangler into a hybrid to hit CAFE numbers. Simply dropping in their 6-cyl diesel from the GC would score way more than 4-5 better MPG. They could much more easily convert some of their Chrysler cars to hybrids as a start, and still meet CAFE requirements.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Pat
        Sorry, but a hybrid version couldn't fix those hilariously awful aerodynamics. It's as if your car was the result of an engineering challenge to see who could make the least efficient vehicle possible. I think even the Hummer cars were more aerodynamic than yours :P
          Teleny411
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Noone buys a wrangler expecting econobox mpg. Unless they are a fool.
      Winnie Jenkems
      • 1 Year Ago
      What a hideous vehicle. I still can't believe it ever made it out of the design stage looking like that. What were they thinking? My dog would bark at it.
      Faux News
      • 1 Year Ago
      Can't wait to consider this versus the CX-5. Only after they revise that mug!!
      S40Powered
      • 1 Year Ago
      An inevitable hideous vehicle.
      Bill Burke
      • 1 Year Ago
      Please note that the Fiat 500 electric motor was developed and is built by Chrysler. Every 500 they built was sold quickly, it should also be noted. Evaluations for this motor have been splendid by the press. No doubt there will be some alternative power for the Jeep and other Chrysler Group vehicles. That is one reason the new Jeep "Jeepster" small SUV headed to the states is going to be sold domestically, although it was developed mainly for foreign consumption, to improve corporate EPA numbers. I'd look for that Jeep to get the Chrysler electric found in the 500 initially. Hybrids would be logical in the Patriot/Compass replacements due to their lack of demanding off road needs by the buying demographic for this vehicle. With Fiat's experience in small engine science, look for the compacts from Chrysler to improve the EPA numbers.
        Pete
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Bill Burke
        I'm a big Chrysler fan, but get your facts straight. Bosch developed the 500e, not Fiat or Chrysler. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFFyu4WEO1Y
      raktmn
      • 1 Year Ago
      Chrysler has a whole lot of vehicles they could start with before they ever needed to touch any ot their "trail-rated" vehicles in order to meet CAFE requirements. This sounds like them trying to gin up fake outrage.
        mylexicon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @raktmn
        I think they are trying to manage expectations. Jeep enthusiasts thought the new Cherokee was going to be built in the spirit of the original Cherokee. They were wrong, and Jeep endured a lot of bad press for managing expectations so poorly. Hybrids are obviously necessary to anyone who looks at the regulations so Jeep might as well say it early and often.
      Richard
      • 1 Year Ago
      From an environmental point of view, hybrids are actually worse than gas-engined vehicles. What happens to all those worn-out battery packs?
        clquake
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Richard
        The worn out batteries are then recycled, the lithium is reused, along with many other parts. But don't let obvious facts get in your way of the Chrysler love fest.
        Technoir
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Richard
        Richard & Bill Burke, It's amazing how dumb you two are. Who made you believe this nonsense? That's the same kind of myth as "Hummer is cleaner than a Prius" straight from FoxNews. It has been debunked years ago. Are you living under a rock?
        Bill Burke
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Richard
        Exactly. Tree huggers never see the folly of their ideas. Would you buy a used hybrid? Not I.
        danfred311
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Richard
        From an intelligence point of view, you are not doing so well Richard. What you said was spectacularly stupid. Gas cars use lead batteries. Lead is actually harmful to the environment unlike lithium batteries. Moron. Yet even lead is reused and kept from harming.
      Cruising
      • 1 Year Ago
      A hybrid Cherokee makes sense because the Cherokee was designed to be a good balance of both urban and off road. Although most commuters who buy the Cherokee will drive them to work, daily chores occasional long distance trip like most of us the benefits of a hybrid Cherokee could be a positive in those conditions. I actually dig the styling especially in black, stands out in traffic in a good way.
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