Hybrid Electrics—When will Jeep go Green?

by Off Road Report on June 27, 2008

With so much of today’s consumer attention surrounding on a struggling economy and exorbitant fuel prices, it’s no surprise auto makers are focusing on fuel efficiency and making vehicles that are easier on the American pocketbook. So it’s no coincidence hybrid vehicles are taking the auto market by storm. Used to be, those that drove a Toyota Prius were looked upon as tree hugging liberals, but more people every day are turning to hybrids like the Prius as an answer to skyrocketing fuel costs and environmental responsibility.

It’s no surprise either that with the increased demand for hybrid cars, auto makers are scrambling to produce their entry into this lucrative market. No longer are consumers limited to one or two choices. Now there are a myriad of hybrid vehicles ranging from luxury models like the Lexus 450h sedan to 4-wheel drive options including the Ford Escape and full size Chevy Tahoe.

So what’s missing from this green picture? You guessed it—a Jeep. Be it a Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, Liberty or any other Jeep model you’re partial to, you won’t find a hybrid version. It’s a shame really. When you think about auto makers that cater to outdoor enthusiasts you think Jeep. The name itself conjures images of traversing narrow mountain trails or navigating washed out desert back roads. But Jeep hasn’t answered the call.

Aside from the fuel economy and environmental considerations, electric engines are perfect for off road travel. These motors are not only quiet, providing a pleasant wheeling experience, they also have gobs of low end torque. In fact, no gas or even diesel engine on the plant can provide the on-demand torque of a comparable electric motor. What an advantage that would be on the slick rock of Moab, Utah.

I did a little digging, looking for news about if and when Jeep would release a hybrid vehicle and found limited news. According to Ridelust.com, Jeep introduced a 2008 Renegade concept at the 2008 North American International Auto Show. “Powered with a diesel engine that gets assistance from front and back electric motors with their combined output of 114-hp (the horsepower and torque ratings for the diesel engine have not been released yet), the Warthog-esque Renegade is designed to achieve 110mpg.”

Beyond that, mums the word on any kind of hybrid from Jeep. So, for now, we’ll be not-so-patiently waiting for Jeep to join the rest of the world and release a hybrid electric. In the mean time, maybe we can find a way to throw a transfer case and lift kit on a hybrid car like the Prius. Hey, it could happen.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark 08.12.08 at 1:28 am

I agree with you, fuel is getting expensive by the hour. I gathered that in Japan they have devised a solar-powered vehicles. :)

Michael 08.17.08 at 7:36 pm

Hm… I wonder if the extra weight of the batteries would be a problem for wheeling? Also is gas really expensive enough that a hybrid would pay for itself quickly versus a regular new vehicle? — taking into account monthly payments and time value of money? I’m skeptical…

Andrey 08.18.08 at 12:11 am

I have an answer on this question – When will Jeep go Green? – When all petroleum will be sold!

Captain Falcon 08.27.08 at 4:07 pm

I would love to see the jeep go green. Come to think of it, I would love to see every car go green!

TigerTom 09.13.08 at 12:13 pm

What we need are simple, safe nuclear reactors, at least for the medium term. It’s ludicrous that Third World countries are holding us hostage by threatening our fixation with ‘Chelsea tractors’ i.e. 4WD vehicles.

Syd 09.15.08 at 4:13 pm

If Jeep could really go green, they’d see sales #’s like no one would imagine.

Easier said than done though. Obviously.

bridal jewelry 10.02.08 at 2:14 am

It would be nice to see the jeeps going green…the sellers can make huge profits.

Machinery Trader Online 10.02.08 at 6:55 am

The Jeep shud also follow the trend of going green, in my opinion. Sooner or later, this trend will be adopted by one and all whether they like it or not.

Busana Muslim 10.07.08 at 11:45 pm

great step for jeep for go green…

Bryan 10.11.08 at 10:07 pm

Great post. I would love to see a green Jeep. I think more companies need to take the steop to green vehicles.

Ralph McKelvie 10.17.08 at 3:52 am

I would love to see the jeep go green.

HDhomerun 11.12.08 at 9:32 am

I don’t think they can go green… they’ve been gas guzzlers and they’ll remain so…
or maybe not :D

Caio

xerafhica 11.13.08 at 4:30 am

Fuel nowadays is fast increasing in price. That would probably be a major problem that’s why people are finding alternative ways on how to solve this problem.

uk immigration 11.22.08 at 5:35 am

Yes Fuel Prices hiking day by day and going green is a good option.
But would the combustion power be more or less than the fuel we have today?

Vitamin 11.25.08 at 11:15 am

I saw a show on the green channel the other day where they had a green SUV vs. a regular SUV and the green one faired surprisingly well. In fact, the battery in a hybrid is stored along the floor of the vehicle giving it a lower center of gravity which also makes it more secure. Not only would it be more efficient, but a jeep would be safer too.

John 11.26.08 at 9:01 am

What you mentioned about Hybrid is true. Now most of my friends are aiming for Hybrid cars (no longer luxury cars). It is very possible to have hybrid jeeps but I think it’s not going to be easy. The engines are going to be tough to design.

kustomatic 12.03.08 at 11:27 pm

Jeep hybrid? Nice. But can it do same thing as a jeep powered by gas. I like offroading so I need lots of power.

zoomerdaily 12.04.08 at 7:26 pm

A jeep hybrid sure is a nice idea. I hope to see one in the near future.

Washington DC Attorney 12.10.08 at 8:59 am

A Jeep hybrid would be fantastic. As long as it is reasonably priced and gets much better gas mileage.

Halloween Mangler 12.16.08 at 8:05 pm

It’s about time for the world to see the potential of hybrid cars. The need to evolve and go for this is already startling.
Not only are they environmental-friendly, these cars are also noiseless and seamless. I just hope that they would come at a reasonable price.

Ratgear Gesundheit 12.21.08 at 11:55 pm

We need vehicles that are environment-friendly and gladly you said it all here. But the truth is seldom we see such type of hybrid vehicles. Need lots of work to do. We need good information-dissemination campaign.

Mike 01.06.09 at 4:04 pm

the sooner the better. Car companies have fought this every step of the way. We could have been using altermative fuels long ago. Nice to see finally that people are looking to alternatives to break free from OPEC.

Surgery 01.23.09 at 11:53 am

I agree – sooner these companies can work on getting greener cars on the road the better for whole of mankind.

Austin Graffiti 02.04.09 at 9:33 pm

Anyone who buys an SUV during this current lull in gas prices is a sucker. They’re already starting to climb again.

seobro 02.08.09 at 8:13 pm

I hope so, because the jeep is XLent. Yes, the battery pack is heavy, even the lithium one, but we need more efficient motors as well. The electric motor can assist going up a hill and since regen braking is common in hybrids that would boost mpg as well.

Jeep Lover 03.17.09 at 6:46 pm

I definitely would LOVE to see Jeep go green. I love my Jeep and I lease it. I’m sad to give it up next year, and would definitely purchase over lease it if they went Green. They would certainly increase their sales if they chose this route. Can’t we petition it?

g 06.08.09 at 10:45 am

vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvgggggggggggg

Jon 06.23.09 at 11:01 am

If Jeep came out with a 4 door hybrid wrangler I would buy one tomorrow with no questions asked. I love Jeeps but I now need a 4 door because I have 2 kids. I have thought about buying a four door now but with all the new hybrids coming to market soon buying a new vehicle right now is going to be a very bad investment five years down the road. Jeep I hope you are listening… Please build me my Jeep.

Rene 05.25.10 at 7:34 pm

I have had my Jeep for over 10 yrs and I love it. The only thing is that I don’t get great mpg (I even bought the 4 in hopes of getting better miles). Also, I don’t drive fast as everyone else because I drive a Jeep…meaning I would probably use the electric side of a hybrid more than the gas, which means more $$ in my pocket. I am a “Cheap” person, but if Jeep came out with a hybrid, electric, or even solar powered Wrangler, I would be on the waiting list. I want no other. JEEP!

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