Jeep has confirmed it will offer a fully electric model at some point, and that when that happens, it will still be a hardcore off-roader.
Head of Jeep for North America, Tim Kuniskis, said the brand has already put its toe in the water when it comes to hybridisation and electrification of its range.
“In Geneva we showed the first two electrified Jeeps for that market, and that was the start,” said Kuniskis, reflecting on the reveals of the plug-in hybrid Jeep Renegade and Compass at the Geneva motor show earlier this year.
Those two models use a 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine powering the front wheels, with an electric motor at the rear axle, meaning they both have all-wheel drive - but perhaps not the same standard of a ‘Trail Rated’ Jeep four-wheel drive.
Following that logic - and ever-tightening emissions regulations requiring lower fleet emissions across the brand’s range - and it’s inevitable that Jeep will soon have to showcase some form of fully electric model.
“We haven’t shown anything fully electrified yet,” said Mr Kuniskis, before answering a question about whether any eventual Jeep EV will be a true off-road offering.
“We haven’t made any announcement on that yet, but trust me - that’s core to our DNA, so we’re going to make sure that when we use electrification, we’re going to use it for an actual benefit, not just for compliance.”
Fiat Chrysler Automotive is no doubt looking to offset costs of developing and implementing electric powertrains across numerous brands, with reports out of Europe suggesting Fiat will build the new-generation 500 city car purely in electric guise from 2020.
Do you think there's a place for electric off-roaders? Tell us in the comments below.