It looks like it won’t be very long before Jeep will start offering hybrid-powered models. While the off-road specialist brand has relied so far on traditional technology to make sure its vehicles can handle serious off-roading, stricter emission regulations will force it to adopt some form of electric assistance in the future.
“We are absolutely looking at different things in that field and we are very active behind the scenes in the development of these systems and how it fits into our profile,” Chrysler’s Asia-Pacific product planning manager, Steve Bartoli, told Australia’s Drive.
“With greenhouse gas and regulatory constraints around the world, it is definitely pushing our hand in that way but we haven’t made any decisions on that and we’re not ready to talk about that,” the executive added.
According to Bartoli, the biggest challenge is the reliability of electric motors and the range of battery packs under difficult conditions. “These are very complex and expensive systems, not just for us to develop but also for the consumers. Not only that, but range is a very important issue and we need to make sure how we can fit that into our systems because you don’t want to be stuck in a creek in an electric Jeep that is going nowhere,” he said.
However, Jeep is aware of the potential benefits of hybridisation and is evaluating new ways of integrating hybrid power specifically for serious four-wheel drive applications.
By Dan Mihalascu