After sitting on the sidelines when it came to electric vehicles and their derivatives Fiat Chrysler revealed it’s now in the game with the introduction of the Jeep Wrangler plug-in hybrid.
FCA CEO Mike Manley discussed the importance of the new entry during the company’s annual general meeting held online Friday. Prior to the Wrangler, the company’s only real efforts at electrification were the current Chrysler Pacifica hybrid and a past iteration of the Fiat 500e.
That vehicle was so reviled by then-CEO Sergio Marchionne, he implored people not to buy it because he said the company lost too much money on the sale of each vehicle. The new Wrangler hybrid will usher in a new era at FCA.
“Jeep’s icon the Wrangler will arrive on the market with a 4xe version that will be on the front line of our electrification strategy in North America,” he said during the automaker’s annual general meeting held online because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Detroit News.
Going forward, all electrified Jeep products will carry a special “4xe” badge. Now the arrival of the hybrid Wrangler wasn’t really a surprise, as had been discussed for some time and made an earlier appearance at CES in Las Vegas in January.
No real details were given at the time, but now Manley said it will be available in the U.S. by the end of this year. China and Europe will get it sometime in the first quarter of 2021. Manley didn’t offer up what Jeep models are next to be electrified, if you will.
However, at CES the Wrangler was joined by Compass and Renegade hybrid vehicles. It wasn’t even the first real event for those vehicles either, Jeep having teased versions of the Compass and Renegade plug-ins last year.
If it hasn’t torn up those original plans, we can expect to see the new plug-in hybrids deliver up to 31 miles range and the ability to operate at speeds up to 62 mph in all-electric mode. The gas and electric power sources, the brand said last year, combine to deliver about 240 horsepower.
The hybrids are critical to the commitment to offer electrified versions of all Jeeps by 2022 to meeting tougher carbon emissions standards in other parts of the world. Orders for the plug-in Jeep Compass and Renegade crossovers in Europe will start in by early July.
Manley did not talk about the brand’s larger, pricier models, which will need to find a place for a plug sooner rather than later, especially the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, which will be built in Warren, Michigan.