Jeep Has a Winner in the 4xe PHEV! Kind of...
Updated: Nov 22
By Michael Entner-Gómez | Digital Transformation Officer | Entner Consulting Group, LLC.
So, if you follow me, you know my take on EVs. I'm a fan of the technology but not a fan of the way it's being shoved down consumer throats in the form of EV-only product lines and government mandates. I think it's just bad business and doesn't provide a proper bridge from ICE to the EV technology, which is still evolving as an ecosystem. Then, along comes the Jeep 4xe PHEV, and it proves that there is an appetite for electrified vehicles that fill a niche and make sense. Heck, I might even possibly kind of want one at some point, and that's a heavy lift with me.
Green that Makes Sense
As someone who is skeptical about EV's readiness for prime time, I have been trying to convince people that hybrid electric vehicles are the way to go as a transition between traditional gasoline-powered cars and EVs. While I understand the importance of (and fully support) reducing emissions and moving towards a more sustainable future, I believe the general public is hesitant to fully embrace electric cars due to concerns about range anxiety, charging infrastructure, and the high cost of purchase, among other EV blockers (see my last blog post https://www.entner.com/post/evsuccess).
However, along comes the Jeep 4xe PHEV, and it proves that there is an appetite for electrified vehicles that fill a niche and make sense. The 4xe models offer a compromise between the traditional power of a gasoline engine and the clean, efficient power of an electric motor. They allow drivers to experience the benefits of electric power, such as improved fuel efficiency, lower emissions, and ungodly torque (important on the trails), while still being able to rely on a gasoline engine for longer trips or when charging infrastructure is not available.
Some Stats on the Jeep 4xe
The Jeep Wrangler 4xe has a range of over 370 miles, with up to 21 miles on electric power alone. The Electric Mode allows for nearly zero tailpipe emissions up to highway speeds, making it an excellent option for daily commutes or trips to pick up the kiddos (or doggos). Additionally, the Hybrid Mode combines the torque from both the PHEV powertrain and the electric motor, providing maximum horsepower, instant torque, and thrilling acceleration (so says Jeep since they wouldn't let me test drive it for some reason). The eSave Mode prioritizes the gasoline engine, saving battery charge for later use. The Regenerative Braking feature allows the battery to be charged when decelerating and braking, while the Recharge feature can fully charge the battery in approximately 2 hours using an available Level II charger (240V) or 12 hours using the included Level I charger (120V). According to the EPA ratings, the combined mileage for engine+battery is a respectable 49MPG (more than double the typical Jeep mileage).
While I still have concerns about the short-to-midterm viability of fully-electric vehicles, the Jeep 4xe strategy is an excellent example of how plug-in hybrids can offer a unique and compelling package that can convince even the most skeptical owners to consider a more sustainable option. It's a practical solution for drivers who may not be ready to fully embrace EVs but still want to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on fuel costs. The 4xe models are designed to be convenient and easy to use, making them an attractive option for anyone looking for a greener driving experience. Go team Jeep -- good job ferreting out a monetizable market! But, and you know I always have to deliver praise with a little bit of criticism, you need to get the price down to earth or these vehicles will sit on the lot. I walked away from one today and my wallet doesn't regret it because $30K+ gets me almost 9,000 gallons of gas at current prices. Yeah, I'm green but not bleeding it.