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Jeep Renegade Will be Produced as a Plug-In Hybrid

 

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recently announced it has begun preparations to start production of a Jeep Renegade plug-in hybrid model. The action is part of the automaker’s commitment to electrification of more of its vehicles in order to comply with the new, tougher, emissions rules. FCA, the seventh-largest automaker in the world, had announced in June that during the next five years it was prepared to invest at least $10.3 billion to build electric and hybrid cars to fully comply with the new emissions regulations being enacted in markets around the world.

Just The Beginning

Producing a plug-in hybrid version of the Jeep Renegade is just one step in its mission to meet the more stringent emission standards. FCA has also pledged that by 2021 the diesel engines in its European passenger cars will be phased out. The company said it will spend over $200 million euros to develop the new engine. The plug-in hybrid Jeep Renegade will be produced in Southern Italy at the FCA plant in Melfi. The plant already produces the model’s combustion engine version, as well as the Fiat 500X crossover. FCA said the plant will be modernized and workers will be retrained to use the new technology.

More Electric Vehicles From FCA

According to FCA, buyers can expect the plug-in hybrid version of the Jeep Renegade to hit the market beginning early in 2020. The company also plans to produce vehicles powered by 12 different electric propulsion systems by 2022. Those will include battery electric vehicles, full hybrids and plug-in hybrids. FCA said it will produce 30 different models that will have one or more of its electric propulsion systems as standard equipment. The automaker had previously announced that sometime in the near future it would begin producing a Jeep Wrangler with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. While not available for a test drive, you can check out a Jeep Renegade at Chapman Chrysler Jeep.

Coming To America

Although commercial production of the Jeep Renegade PHEV is expected to be in full swing by 2020, it’s uncertain when it will hit the North American market. FCA unveiled a five-year plan that included developing a front-wheel-drive platform to be used on the Jeep Cherokee as well as the smaller Renegade. The automaker also said it would fit an electric motor on the vehicles which would power their rear wheels. Jeep had expressed a desire that by 2022 the American market would have access to eight Jeep plug-in hybrid models. The release of a plug-in hybrid Wrangler in 2020 was expected to be the first of those vehicles.

Meeting Its Target

There aren’t many vehicles powered by electricity on the FCA roster. In the 2017 model year, the company introduced the Chrysler Pacifica minivan’s hybrid version. There’s also a mild hybrid version of the Ram 1500 pickup. That leaves FCA with lots of work left to do to meet its target of 30 electrified models by 2022. Sergio Marchionne, the former FCA Chief Executive didn’t embrace electrification because he felt it wasn’t profitable. However, tougher emissions rules and Tesla’s success has spurred FCA to commit electric vehicles.

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