EVs Aren’t For Everyone, PHEVs Would Justify A Transition To Electric

Most Mopar Enthusiasts Aren't Looking Forward To All-Electric Vehicles...

The automotive industry is rapidly shifting towards electric vehicles (EVs), driven by environmental concerns and government regulations. However, fans of Stellantis’ Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, and Ram brands have clearly preferred plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) over full EVs.

2024 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon X 4xe in High Velocity. (Jeep).

These brands carry a rich legacy, evoking nostalgia and tradition. They’re known for iconic vehicles celebrated for their powerful engines and distinctive designs. Enthusiasts associate them with the roar of a V8 engine and the thrill of the open road. PHEVs like the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe and Jeep Wrangler 4xe strike a balance between tradition and the future, offering electric driving modes while retaining the beloved combustion engine.

Many people we’ve spoken with express concerns about the speed of the transition to EVs. They don’t want to feel pressured into buying products they’re not ready for. On the other hand, some are just glad to see Stellantis introducing much-needed new products, which have been lacking in the portfolio.

2024 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L Hybrid Road Tripper. (Chrysler).

PHEVs like the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid provide a unique blend of electric and gasoline power, making them more versatile than all-electric vehicles. Enthusiasts often require vehicles that can handle various driving conditions, from off-road adventures to family vacations. PHEVs offer extended driving ranges and the flexibility to switch between electric and gasoline power, making them more practical choices.

A significant concern with EV adoption is charging infrastructure availability. While urban areas may have a growing network of charging stations, rural areas, and off-road destinations often lack such facilities. PHEVs like the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe and Jeep Wrangler 4xe address this concern by providing the option to rely on gasoline when charging stations are scarce, allowing drivers to explore without range anxiety.

2024 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4xe. (Jeep).

Refueling a PHEV is as quick and convenient as filling up a traditional gasoline-powered vehicle, a familiar and hassle-free experience for fans of Stellantis’ brands. This stands in contrast to EVs, which require longer charging times, even with fast chargers.

PHEVs tend to be more affordable than their all-electric counterparts, aligning with the brands’ commitment to providing value to their customers. Lower purchase prices mean that more enthusiasts can access the latest technology and enjoy the benefits of electric driving without breaking the bank.

2024 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4xe. (Jeep).

While PHEVs may not be completely emission-free, they still contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional gasoline vehicles. Fans of these brands appreciate that PHEVs represent a significant step towards a more sustainable future without completely abandoning the power and capability they love.

However, the shift towards EVs comes with economic challenges. As EVs have simpler drivetrains and fewer moving parts, they require less labor for assembly, potentially leading to decreased employment opportunities in the automotive industry. 

2024 Dodge Hornet R/T PHEV Blacktop eAWD. (Dodge).

The transition to EVs reduces the demand for traditional assembly line labor and poses challenges for sectors closely tied to internal combustion engines. Mechanic shops may see decreased business as EVs require less maintenance and have fewer parts susceptible to wear and tear. Aftermarket parts companies specializing in traditional engine components might experience reduced demand, while the prevalence of EVs eliminates the need for oil change services altogether.

Furthermore, the manufacturing of batteries necessitates the extraction of rare earth metals, a process known to have adverse environmental effects, as well as the use of child labor in some circumstances. It’s worth noting that PHEVs utilize significantly smaller battery packs than full EVs, mitigating some of the environmental impacts of battery production.

2024 Dodge Hornet R/T PHEV Blacktop eAWD. (Dodge).

In light of the loyalty and preferences of Mopar owners, many would prefer to see more PHEV offerings than EVs, allowing enthusiasts to embrace this evolution at their own pace. This approach not only eases the transition but also addresses concerns about charging infrastructure and offers a more cost-effective solution in a time of inflation. It’s important for Stellantis to listen to its loyalists here in North America and consider these perspectives.

Robert S. Miller

Robert S. Miller is a diehard Mopar enthusiast who lives and breathes all that is Mopar. The Michigander is not only the Editor for MoparInsiders.com, 5thGenRams.com, and HDRams.com but an automotive photographer. He is an avid fan of offshore powerboat racing, which he travels the country to take part in.

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PHEVs need to get a lot less complicated and expensive, but they are a WAY better solution than BEVs (unless you just want a city car). I still want V8s and Inline 6s if it has to be a PHEV, but they need to be SIMPLE like a 60s muscle car or a Jeep. So, that means we don't need 3 battery packs on the vehicle, spaghetti bowls for wiring harnesses and two different HVAC systems. It also means we need cleaner gasoline, e/bio fuel (or whatever) so that we don't need emissions controls and other garbage added to the car.

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After studying a decent amount for the push towards electrification, I am not onboard. Will refrain from dissertation but the current source of power(battery components and composition) am not in agreement. Too many issues that raise even more questions and issues.

Also, for example, on just one small portion of the matter, there are videos of people disassembling the battery packs on Tesla’s replacing the batteries technology from just a few years ago with what some term as ‘bad design’ with more ‘modern design’. Yes, technology moves forward but it seems BV’s are a work in progress sold to the public before enough testing or time for design takes place?

I would not rule-out a hybrid but the current internal combustion engine design has not been reliably replaced in my opinion. Not yet anyway.

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Love our 4xe.... 1200 miles on the last fill up. Best of both Worlds like Sammy used to sing.

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Rush to electric is political, driven by zealots with extreme views. Coercion and mandates not approved by Congress are wrong, not to mention unconstitutional. Electrics are sitting on dealer lots with few takers. Show some backbone and oppose this insanity. Gas today, gas forever.

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This article hits on so many points that I've been saying for a little while now. Pure EVs are still somewhat of a low volume niche vehicle and while there are more and more Teslas on the road and a few other EVs in this current day and age with the way things are, No, full BEVs are not the best idea. Hybrids are about the best thing going right now because they do offer the benefits of both conventional gasoline burning powertrains with the added bonus of emissions-reducing electric drive systems. Yes, "If a charger can make a charger faster," while making it more efficient and allowing the brand to continue making high performance vehicles, then why not do it? If I can take the next gen car and have a base hybrid 4-cylinder turbo engine with 5.7L Hemi Horsepower and 6.4L Hemi torque and then put three different levels of 3.0L Hurricane Hybrid powertrains on top of that (S.O Hybrid, H.O Hybrid , H.O Cat-3 Hybrid), Maybe an 800hp Nettuno 3.0L V6 Hybrid powertrain at the top of that and then have an 800V Banshee EV at the top of the food chain where that low-volume Niche market would be able to satisfy the projected sales numbers that Stellantis would be looking to achieve, then why not?! That kind of power with 25-30miles of full EV range with more emissions friendly powertrains makes every bit of sense. Couple that with an expanded Direct Connection catalog and now your EPA is happy, we don't need tax credits from Tesla AND the enthusiasts are happy. If the thought is to have all of the lineups electrified or electric by a certain year, why not do it like this. This also give stellantis time to perfect these Electric Muscle cars that they're supposedly coming out with in the near future. As much as I personally love Hemi powertrains, I love DODGE that much more and if finally moving from the same thing that they've been doing for the last almost 20 years to doing something different that is going to benefit them and keep them around longer and still give me the option to go buy a high performance vehicle that I can enjoy everyday from the brand that I love and still be able to go to the gas station and put fuel in it and add intakes and that kind of stuff to it, I will gladly take a Hurricane Hybrid powered AWD Dodge Charger and be 100% happy about it. Will ICE cars last forever? Probably not. Will EVs replace internal combustion completely at some point? Absolutely. And honestly there's nothing wrong with that. As long as it's done right and for the right reasons and at the right time. Honestly, we probably have another 20-30 years before EVs honestly take over. Fifteen at the bare minimum. When they do. They'll be nothing like the EVs we know right now. At that point, half of us wont even be driving anymore. In 30-year, I myself will be 69-years old, if I live to see that age and by then, I'll more than likely be coming to the end of my driving career or getting very close to it. The evolution of the auto industry is honestly healthy and necessary as remaining stagnant would lead to it's demise. It is time that Dodge evolved into something more modern, but yet, still Dodge.

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