Jeep raised the price of best-selling plug-in hybrid Wrangler 4xe that Biden drove

President Biden announces clean cars initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

President Biden announces clean cars initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

President Biden got a jolt of electric car joy on Thursday when he took a spin in the plug-in hybrid Jeep Wrangler 4xe following his test of the Ford F-150 Lighting pickup earlier this year.

Biden could be seen beaming as he took the 4×4 for a drive around the White House grounds following the signing of an executive order that aims to have 50% of automobile sales in the U.S. be all-electric, hydrogen fuel cell-powered or plug-in hybrids by 2030.

President Biden test drove the Jeep Wrangler 4xe on the White House grounds following the signing of an executive order calling for 50% of vehicles sold in the U.S. to be electrified by 2030. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

He's far from the only one who likes the vehicle, which went on sale this spring and has become the best-selling plug-in hybrid in the U.S. today, according to Jeep.

"It’s gone from being the newest entrant three months ago and now the best selling plug-in hybrid in America, so, it’s off to a great start," Jim Morrison, the head of Jeep's North American operations, told FOX Business in an exclusive interview.

"I wanted it to be a hit and I’m so happy that it is. The trick was making sure that it was a really capable Jeep first."

Jim Morrison (right) spoke to Fox News Autos editor Gary Gastelu about the Wrangler 4xe at a test drive event for the upcoming Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer SUVs. (Fox News Autos)

Jeep CEO Christian Meunier recently said that it is essentially sold out for the rest of the year, based on reservations.

The 4xe is one of the most powerful models available, just behind the gas-guzzling V8-powered Rubicon 392, which has a fuel economy rating of 14 mpg combined. The 4xe, which has an electric motor and a four-cylinder engine, can travel 21 miles on just battery-power and is rated at 49 mpg combined in mixed use, although that drops to 20 mpg if the battery isn't used at all.

Jeep hasn't released exact sales figures for the model but stands by its best-selling claim and has been raising prices due to demand.

The base price of the 4xe jumped by $1,220 last week to $52,520, which follows a previous increase that brings the total hike since it was first announced to $3,030, according to Cars Direct. The four-door SUV is eligible for the current $7,500 federal tax credit and state incentives.

The entire Wrangler lineup is having a banner year, setting new quarterly and monthly retail sales records, and is one of the models Jeep has been prioritizing production of amid the ongoing semiconductor shortage that's been hampering the auto industry.

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"I year ago I couldn’t spell semiconductor, let alone figure out how to account for them," Morrison said on the sidelines of a test drive event for the new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer SUVs, which contain over 90 computer modules in each vehicle.

"I hope and foresee that we’re through the worst of it and it continues to go up from here, but we’ve been thrown a few curveballs this year and who knows for sure," Morrison said.

"But I personally think we have the worst behind us and we’re starting to get the supply rolling in a little more timely for us now."

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