Jeep Grand Commander EV leads FCA electrification push


2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

An all-electric Jeep may clamber to life as soon as 2021—at least in China.

The Jeep Grand Commander will arrive in 2021 with an all-electric powertrain, according to a sweeping presentation by Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne in Italy Friday.

The company didn't reveal any more details about the electric Grand Commander or specify whether it would come to the U.S., but did present a slide showing that there will be electric versions of the new Renegade as well as either the Compass or Wrangler.

READ THIS: 2019 Ram 1500 pickup has 48-volt 'mild hybrid' system for fuel economy

By 2022, Fiat Chrysler will offer three new all-electric Jeeps and six plug-in hybrids. While the plug-in hybrids may come to the U.S., it's not clear that electric Jeeps will be roaming Los Angeles freeways any time soon. Marchionne noted that low gas prices in North America make for longer pay-back periods for electrified vehicles. That implies that FCAs new plug-in vehicle options will be slower to arrive in the U.S. than in other markets such as Europe and China.

A plug-in hybrid version of the Renegade will go on sale in 2020 and a mild hybrid in 2021. 

The company also confirmed a plug-in hybrid version of the new Wrangler midway through 2020, in addition to the e-Torque mild-hybrid version due out later this year.

CHECK OUT: Jeep Wrangler Plug-In Hybrid to go into production in 2020

While it will build more plug-in vehicles, mild hybrids will form the core of the company's approach to more efficient, electrified powertrains.

Marchionne also revealed that all new engine families for the 2019 Ram will offer hybrid powertrains, including a mild hybrid standard on every version powered by the V-6 engine and optional on V-8s. The mild-hybrid system will include FCA's first use in North America of a 48-volt electrical system. The belt-starter-generator system can provide assistance on acceleration as well as regenerative braking and engine stop-start.

In the same presentation, Marchionne said that FCA will phase out all diesel passenger vehicles by 2021. That means that EcoDiesel options for the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 will likely be phased out. Heavy-duty Ram diesels should continue.

Jeep had promised a new diesel version of the Wrangler next year as well. If it makes it to market, it could be a short-term offering, if the company carries through with its plan to dump diesel in favor of electrification.

 
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