With a new 4xe lineup announced more than a year ago, American Jeep consumers can now buy new “electrified” Grand Cherokee 4xe and Wrangler 4xe models. In the coming years, they will also be able to buy other electrified models like the Grand Wagoneer 4xe and the Recon 4xe.
Consumers in Europe and China also have Jeep 4xe models designed especially for their markets. But what exactly does 4xe mean, given the different types of electric vehicles (Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs), Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), and Fully Electric Vehicles (EVs)) on the market?
The difference between HEV, PHEV and EV
To understand what Jeep 4xs are, it helps to understand the different types of electric vehicles on the market.
First are HEVs, which include an ICE, engine system, and battery. HEVs come in two types. In light HEVs, electrical components support acceleration and braking, as well as internal power systems, such as heating. In a full HEV, the electrical components can propel the vehicle when moving at lower speeds, while the ICE is used for higher speeds.
In some cases, the two systems work independently; in others, they work together to maximize power. Whether in a mild or full HEV, vehicle operation puts a strain on electrical components. However, in a PHEV, the electric motor and battery are charged by an external power source.
auto trader distinguishes an EV from a HEV or a PHEV as a vehicle that lacks an ICE. In other words, a fully electric vehicle has no gasoline engine and runs solely on electricity.
Of the three types, electric vehicles can travel the farthest (hundreds of miles) on electricity alone. PHEVs can typically travel a few dozen miles without the benefit of ICE. All three typically achieve better fuel efficiency than pure ICE vehicles.
What are Jeep 4x: HEV, PHEV or EV?
If you look at the Jeep Wrangler 4xe and the Grand Cherokee 4xe, you’ll see that these models are PHEVs. PHEVs are great options for consumers not yet ready to switch to full electric vehicles, as well as those in areas without many public charging stations.
Both the Wrangler 4xe and the Grand Cherokee 4xe combine the elements that Jeep consumers know and love with a PHEV system. according to edmundsThe Wrangler 4xe offers consumers 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque while accelerating from rest to 60 mph in just 6 seconds.
With a starting MSRP of $54,735, the Wrangler 4xe has an electric-only range of 49 miles and a total range of 370 miles. And each version offers different exterior styling, off-road features and a comfortable cargo space.
Edmunds notes that the Grand Cherokee 4xe’s electrical components include not one but two electric motors to improve performance and reduce emissions. Starting at $60,360, the Grand Cherokee’s powertrain produces 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque while providing up to 6,000 lbs of towing capacity.
While it provides just over half the electric-only range of the Wrangler 4xe (25 miles), its driving range is 100 miles more than its corporate cousin.
Is the PHEV at the heart of Jeep’s electrification plans?
Right now, Jeep is hard at work expanding its PHEV offerings. 2022 saw the introduction of both the Wrangler 4xe and the Grand Cherokee 4xe in the US, with two more models on the way. According to The best electric SUVs, European consumers can buy the Wrangler 4xe, as well as a Jeep Renegade 4xe and Compass 4xe, abroad. And Jeep also released the Jeep Commander (a PHEV) in 2019, though it wasn’t branded 4xe at the time.
While Jeep is investing heavily in the 4xe lineup, PHEVs aren’t all the company has in store. Eventually, Jeep will offer a full EV in every segment under the 4xe brand by 2025.
Given Jeep’s recent release of new PHEV models and new EV models coming in 2025, it’s unlikely that PHEVs will be phased out quickly, especially in the US, where EV adoption has been slower.
However, Jeep’s PHEV and EV launches are helping position the company for a future where most vehicles on the road are EVs rather than ICEs. And that day may not be far off, given rising consumer demand, regulatory changes, and the auto industry’s broader shift toward manufacturing electric vehicles.