Ask Nathan: Jeep Gladiator 4xe, Bigger EV Batteries and Malignant Narcissism?

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • When will Jeep build a Gladiator 4xe PHEV?
  • Bigger and bigger batteries for EVs?
  • Malignant Narcissism?

The first question comes from a longtime fan who wants to know where the “rumored” Jeep Gladiator PHEV (4xe) is.

Q: (Via: Will Stellantis ever build the Jeep Gladiator 4xe PHEV?

What is taking them so long to build the thing? Considering the way the company is going it seems like the Jeep Gladiator PHEV should be out now! Like you said before, no one is building a PHEV pickup in the USA. It would be a boost to the brand if they finally did. I looked at the numbers you guys posted for the Wrangler PHEV and they seem good enough to me to be competitive used in the Gladiator. Am I missing something or is there a good reason for this delay?

Long time fan!

– Jason

A: I agree, it’s taking longer than expected.

I wish it was something as simple as simply replacing the Gladiator’s powertrain with the Wrangler 4xe’s hybrid system. There’s a lot more to consider. Sure, the current Wrangler 4xe makes a total of  375 horsepower, and 470 lb-ft of torque. Those would be good numbers for any midsize pickup truck. You have to consider how much harder that powertrain has to work in a dedicated pickup truck.

Towing and payload have to be part of the equation

At the very least, it will have to be on par with the V6 Gladiator, which can tow up to 7,650-lbs, which is nearly the best in class. It also has to come close to the regular Gladiator’s 1,700-lbs maximum payload capacity. At the very least, the 17.3 kWh battery weighs about 280-lbs, and the additional hybrid components mean both payload and towing could suffer. Mind you, that’s just my opinion based on the Wrangler’s current powertrain.

It’s possible that Jeep is building a different powertrain for the upcoming Gladiator 4xe, and I’m pretty sure they’ve taken these, and other issues into account. This pickup may require a lot of expensive upgrades to keep the performance reasonable. If that’s the case, the already expensive price tag could climb.

While I share your frustration about the delays, I’m sure they are working on it.

– N

The next question comes from a YouTube comment about the ridiculousness of larger batteries.

Tech Moment – Battery propulsion

Q: (Via: YouTube – edited for content) Battery sizes are getting out of control.

You said it yourself. The massive batteries in the Hummer EV, Silverado EV and other vehicles is stupid. It’s not that I hate EVs but I see them as wasteful toys. I mean cars like the Hummer and Lucid. Before to long we will be driving commuters that weigh 5,000 pounds and crumble bridges. It’s all so stupid!

– XtotheY

A: Thanks for the comment.

I agree that larger and heavier batteries are an issue. Fortunately, battery tech is improving every day. The way batteries are made, and the way they disperse their energy is changing all the time. Battery density, heat control and sourcing new materials are on the forefront of most battery manufactures.

Just look how efficient cellphone batteries are, compared to where they were 10-years ago. Much of the same tech used in a cellphone power source is being used in modern EVs. That’s not to say that batteries will get smaller tomorrow, but I think we’re closing in on better power management, energy density and improved power distribution.

Hopefully, we’ll see some real improvements over the next few years.

– N

This last question is a bit of an enigma. I was asked one question, and I responded with a video. I think it’s related to my favorite rock group.

Q: (Via: Twitter@NathanAdlen) One question: Malignant Narcissism.

  • Anonymous

A: This is a head scratcher, but I think you’re asking me about the band RUSH. If that’s the case… PRESTO!

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Nathan Adlen
Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.