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No Jeep Wrangler ICE for you! 14 states get Wrangler 4xe only


A surprising article from Automotive News states Stellantis dealers in 14 states only get the Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) to stock on their lots — unless a customer orders a gas-only one. The move coincides with emissions standards adopted by the California Air Resource Board.

Dealers scrambling to get inventory still hammered by parts shortages now are faced with the prospect of customers leaving the state to buy a vehicle they can’t get at home.

Ready or not Wrangler 4xe only is coming

The move preempts new emissions standards set to take effect in 2026, and it pushes dealers to convince customers the Wrangler 4xe is all they need.

“We’ve learned how to sell these, and they’re not that difficult to sell,” Stellantis dealer David Kelleher told Automotive News. “That being said, I still have customers that want gas.”

He also said the move by Stellantis will have a “significant impact” on dealerships’ sales.

This means customers in the 14 states that adopted CARB regulations will not be able to purchase the 3.6-liter V-6, the 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder turbo or the 6.4-liter V-8 engines. Instead, they will only be able to purchase a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder mated to an electric motor and small battery in the Wrangler 4xe.

Wrangler 4xeCustomers can special order a Wrangler in a different engine in those states, but we have seen wait times stretch from weeks to months and even years.

The news report says the change in allocations to dealers happened about two months ago. Stellantis told dealers in April that the CARB states are enforcing tougher greenhouse gas standards retroactively to the 2021 model year and those standards are separate from the zero-emission sales minimum set to begin in 2026.

This move has dealers in the 14 states adopting the CARB rules (about 36% of the population) concerned they will now be at a disadvantage.

“I think many of us expected when the CARB rules actually kick in in 2026 in a meaningful way that we’d have some allocation challenges,” Brian Maas, president of the California New Car Dealers Association, told Automotive News. “The fact that it’s happening [with Stellantis] in the middle of 2023 is a bit of a surprise. … People are going to go to Reno and Vegas and Phoenix to get ICE Wranglers, if that’s what they want.”

Price difference

Another aspect of this story is the price difference.

Jeep Wrangler 4xeOn Jeep.com, the 2024 Jeep Wrangler starts at $31,895 while the 2024 Jeep Wrangler 4xe starts at $49,995.

This means can’t you buy a Wrangler ICE version, and you have a higher starting price for the Wrangler 4xe, since it is only available in higher trim levels.

More automakers to follow?

Stellantis says the change uniquely affects them since the company didn’t form until January 2021 — after a 2022 agreement CARB reached with five automakers that applies to the 2021-26 model years.

“The communication to our dealers simply acknowledges the reality that we may need to adjust vehicle allocations among the California and Federal states to ensure that Stellantis complies with different standards in the California states,” Stellantis said in a statement. “We will continue to support our dealer network as they work to meet the needs of our consumers during this time, and we will continue to seek a level playing field for our company and our dealers. The ultimate solution rests with a program that allows compliance based on sales in all 50 states.”

Those other automakers are Ford, BMW, Honda, Volkswagen and Volvo. They are allowed to meet the standards with their nationwide standards, while Stellantis and other automakers must meet the standards with vehicles sold in CARB states.

A Stellantis spokesperson said the objective is to direct vehicles to the markets where they’re needed to meet the varying emissions requirements.

The bottom line

The mish-mash of new emissions rules is going to cause confusion for everyone and more frustration for those who feel they are being forced into EV technology they may not want. This political theater with the automotive market is sure to be a hot topic in the upcoming presidential election.

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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