Serious off-road vehicles from the likes of Jeep and Land Rover aren’t the first vehicles that spring to mind when one thinks of cutting edge powertrain technology but if recent concepts are anything to go by the future of off-roading will be full of advanced electric-hybrids. At last month’s Detroit Auto Show both Jeep and Land Rover presented new electric-hybrid concept vehicles, Jeep with its rugged Renegade and Land Rover with the urban cruiser LR-X.

And it’s not only carmakers interested in the potential of electric power for off-road use. According to MSNBC, the U.S. Army is developing a new diesel-electric ‘Alternative Mobility Vehicle’. For the Army, cutting fuel consumption is important because it constitutes 70% of the material it has to move into combat zones. For civilians, reduced fuel consumption means more cash leftover in pockets.

Speaking with reporters, Jeep engineer Doug Quigly explained that electric power is perfectly suited for off-roaders. “It’s perfect for rock crawling, hill climbing and hill descent,” he said. Quigly went on to boast that hybrid vehicles also have the added benefit of being able to travel in relative silence, a boon for traveling in the outdoors without disturbing the natural surroundings with a loud trick engine.

Land Rover LR-X Concept

Jeep Renegade Concept