The entire Jeep range will be hybrid or electric by 2022, according to the brand's global boss.
- shares

It's a lofty claim, but Jeep is adamant it can become 'the greenest SUV brand in the world' by 2022 – by adding electrification to all models across its portfolio.

The bold claim was made to Australian journalists by Jeep global president Christian Meunier at the launch of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator in New Zealand.

When the Gladiator goes on sale in Australia late in the first half of 2020, it will bring the brand's range to five models: Compass, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, Wrangler and Gladiator.

Given the brand is currently known for fire-breathing Hemi V8s and V6 engines, there's some way to go before it earns the 'greenest SUV brand' tag.

According to Meunier, all those models – as well as others we don't receive in Australia – will feature either plug-in hybrid or battery-electric technology by 2022. Electric assistance will obviously make them cleaner, but it will also make them more fuel efficient.

Still, for a brand that hangs its Stetson on being able to take you into the middle of nowhere and then some, the move to electrification of any kind is a brave one.

"We were a niche brand, a very strong brand, but we believe these Jeeps will be the best Jeeps ever," Meunier said.

"In 2009, we sold 300,000 units, so really a niche brand, and that has increased to 1.5 million today," Meunier said.

"We are extremely successful in North America, and Brazil and Argentina, where six years ago the brand didn't exist, so it's remarkable what's been accomplished to have 20 per cent of the market."

Meunier went on to say that a strong performance in Europe has come despite not "capturing all the opportunities" in that market.

In short, the last decade, globally, has been a significant one for the brand, given the fivefold increase in sales. Jeep believes a roll out of forward-facing electrified models will only help its sales growth continue.

"We want to make it more of a sustainable, iconic brand, not only an off-road brand," Meunier said.

"Expand the capability off-road into more of on-road capability, all-weather capability, and fully sustainable and I think that's why when I said we want to become the greenest SUV brand in the world, we mean it and that is what the company is going to deliver."

Over the same decade period in Australia, Jeep's growth hasn't matched the global trend, despite improving by more than 30 percent.

Jeep Australia's new managing director, Kevin Flynn, told CarAdvice he believes the Jeep brand has tremendous support and loyalty in Australia and isn't at its full potential.

"We have exciting plans to invigorate the brand, which we will reveal to you in the next few months," Flynn said.

"We're working on a significant plan, and 2020 will be a big year for us."