New Model News

Three new plug-in hybrid electric Jeeps coming with "4xe" badging

Jeep has announced that the Renegade, Compass, and Wrangler will all be getting PHEV variants in the coming year.

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

It's no secret that Jeep's parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, is behind the curve when it comes to electrification of its fleet. That's something the all be helped thanks to the company's forthcoming merger with PSA Group. At CES this week, Jeep took a big step forward showing off three plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) SUVs.

The Jeep Wrangler, Compass, and Renegade PHEVs coming down the line will all carry the new "Jeep 4xe badge". This will be the badging on all forthcoming electrified Jeep vehicles.

Jeep 4xe bagdge PHEV variants of Jeep vehicles will have unique badging.Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

PHEVs benefit from the best of both types of fuel supply. They have a battery pack that holds a charge that usually holds around 30 miles of all-electric range. The battery pack is powered via a cord and plug outlet that can be attached to either a charging station or a household electrical outlet. Power regeneration usually comes from braking and coasting, which allows the battery to recharge without being plugged in.

The vehicles also have a hybrid component with electric motors that run on power supplied by both the battery and gasoline. That's right, there's a fuel tank in the vehicle in the traditional place, though it's usually smaller than what is in a traditional internal combustion engine vehicle.

Jeep is saying that the forthcoming production variants of these vehicles will be the "most efficient and responsible Jeep vehicles ever, providing absolute and quiet open-air freedom while taking performance, 4x4 capability and driver confidence to the next level."

When can you expect to see the models for yourself? Jeep is touting official debuts of the vehicles this year at the Geneva, New York, and Beijing auto shows. The Geneva show is the first one on the calendar, happening the first week of March.

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Electric vehicle concepts

Nissan shows off new concepts and plans for future EVs

Nissan showed off a group of funky concept vehicles at the announcement.

Nissan

Nissan is approaching the release of Ariya, its brand-new EV, but there are plans for much more in the automaker’s near future. Today, the Japanese company announced Nissan Ambition 2030, its plan to develop electrified vehicles and become a more sustainable company. Beyond new vehicles, the roadmap includes investments in battery recycling and charging infrastructure, new battery tech, and more widespread safety technologies.

Nissan Ambition 2030 The automaker plans for 50 percent electrification by 2030.Nissan

Nissan’s plans include 23 new electrified models by 2030. The target covers 15 new EVs and a target of 50 percent electrification. The automaker says it plans to launch a proprietary solid-state battery by 2028, and notes that it will develop a pilot production facility in Yokohama, Japan by 2024. Solid state technologies are not yet commercially viable but will offer faster charging times and better energy densities than lithium ion battery packs.

Nissan Surf-Out Concept Surf-Out is a concept truck with super funky styling.Nissan

While the focus was on the news of its electrification plans, Nissan’s concept vehicles stole the show. The Surf-Out concept truck features a long, low cargo surface and unique all-terrain tires. Typical of concept cars, the Surf-Out’s styling and design are over-the-top. The cabin is surrounded on three sides by glass and open to the bed in the rear. Instead of a grille, there’s a glass panel with an illuminated Nissan logo. It's unlikely Surf-Out or the other concepts shown will make it to production unchanged, but they show that the automaker is looking to explore bold designs with its electrified vehicles.

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New electric pickup truck

GMC Hummer EV deliveries to start soon

Hummer EV deliveries will start in December.

GMC

This year has turned out to be as difficult for automakers as 2020 was, if not much more so. The pandemic is still a major factor, and to make matters worse there's a global microchip shortage that heavily impacts automakers' ability to build tech-heavy vehicles. GMC has a big launch left to handle in 2021, and according to a recent call with journalists, it's proceeding as planned. On a recent call with reporters, GMC exec Duncan Aldred noted that Hummer EV pickup deliveries are on track to begin in December. He also elaborated on the truck's EPA range numbers.

2023 GMC Hummer EV The trucks will deliver up to 329 miles on a charge. GMC

The Hummer's EPA range lands at 329, not far from the 350 miles General Motors targeted for the vehicle. Those are the estimates for the limited Hummer Edition 1, which carries a six-figure price tag and gobs of bells and whistles. Aldred said that other models coming later on will offer longer range estimates when they hit the roads sometime in 2023.

A staggering 80 percent of reservations GMC has gathered so far are for the Edition 1 model. Almost half of the 125,000 people who have inquired about the Hummer EV have placed the refundable $100 deposit and the SUV's first year of production is completely sold out.

2023 GMC Hummer EV The Hummer EV's first year of production is sold out. GMC

When it hits the streets later this year, the Hummer EV will be just in time to face off against a growing crop of EV trucks and SUVs. Rivian recently began delivering the R1T electric pickup truck and will continue with the R1S SUV next year. The Ford F-150 Lightning is coming in 2022, and General Motors itself has a Cadillac EV rollout to handle in 2022. Chevy and GMC will show off electric versions of the Silverado and Sierra pickup trucks on January 5 and GMC will push the Hummer SUV EV in 2023.

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