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SPIED! Jeep Wrangler PHEV – Electric Plus Gas Engine


We got spy photos of the upcoming Jeep Wrangler PHEV SUV! This plug-in hybrid electric vehicle powertrain could add several miles of battery-power only range and help extend a tank of gas.

(Spy photos only on video – sorry!)

These spy photos of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) Jeep Wrangler show a lot of camouflage cladding around the fender wall near the cabin. It is expected this will be the home of the plug-in for charging up the battery or through regenerative braking (friction charges the battery).

A PHEV works by using a battery-driven powertrain to provide a limited range (in this case, we are estimating 25 miles) before the gasoline engine kicks on. This allows people to drive further on a tank of gas or on electric only depending on their driving situation.

Also, the additional range is often only available for city driving since at higher speeds, the power demands outweigh the output of the battery powertrain.

In practice, you can utilize hyper miler driving techniques (slow braking, shift to highest gear, etc…) to get even more range if that is your goal.

The downside to such a vehicle is typically found in the price. For example, the Chrysler Pacifica, the other FCA hybrid, starts at about $40k for the hybrid while the gas starts at $26,985. Now, those are different trim levels and the hybrid Pacifica is only offered in the higher Touring, Touring L and Limited trims. Still a Limited gas Pacifica is $33,245 – a nearly $7k difference.

Besides the price, there is the question on demand. Typically PHEV have done OK with passenger cars that are used for commuting. The Wrangler typically isn’t a vehicle known for commuting and it does raise the question, is there consumer demand for it?

Considering a Jeep Wrangler these days can run into the mid $50k mark, we wonder how much more a PHEV powertrain would push that number even higher. Would consumers pay that much for 25 miles of electric range? Would you? Let us know below.


Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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