Jeep said Monday that it laid the groundwork to begin production of a plug-in hybrid version of its small Renegade at the factory in southern Italy where it's produced alongside the Fiat 500X.
The model is expected to go on sale in early 2020, though it's not clear whether it is intended for the U.S. Jeep did not immediately respond for comment on where the Renegade would be sold.
Few technical details are available about the model, such as its battery size or potential electric range. This year, Jeep added an available 1.3-liter turbo-4 to the Renegade's powertrain menu. It's not clear if that engine will pair with a hybrid battery in the plug-in version.
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The Renegade plug-in hybrid will be one of 30 different new models worldwide from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to use electric, plug-in, or conventional hybrid drive systems.
Those will include a new plug-in hybrid version of the classic Jeep Wrangler, the new e-Torque mild-hybrid version of the Ram pickup, and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan. It is also expected to include a replacement for the small Fiat 500e, which is now one of the oldest electric vehicles on the market, and the one with the shortest electric range.
In all, the company said at an investor meeting in June that it will invest $10.3 billion to ramp up its hybrid and electric-car portfolio, with 12 new powertrains, including battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and conventional hybrids.
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FCA's former CEO Sergio Marchionne, who died in July, called the investment to bring the company's products into line with upcoming emissions regulations in Europe, California, China and elsewhere "painful spending."
In the June presentation, a new plug-in Renegade was announced for sometime before 2022, but it was unclear how soon it might appear. This announcement shows the Renegade plug-in hybrid will be among the first of this new crop of electrified vehicles from FCA.
Earlier this year FCA said it would stop selling diesel engines in its European passenger vehicles. This wouldn't preclude the introduction of new diesel versions of the Jeep Wrangler and Ram 1500 pickup in the U.S. that the company has previously announced.