Fiat Chrysler lays groundwork to build electrified Jeep models


2019 Jeep Wrangler

2019 Jeep Wrangler

With a $4.5 billion investment in manufacturing in Michigan announced Tuesday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will put some big plans in motion to electrify its entire future Jeep lineup.

That is likely to include a new Jeep Grand Cherokee plug-in hybrid, based on an all-new Grand Cherokee planned to debut in early 2021, although FCA would not confirm when the plug-in hybrid powertrain might arrive.

DON'T MISS: Jeep Grand Commander EV leads FCA electrification push

The announcement, which upgrades some factories and shuffles manufacturing locations for several products, builds on another announcement in June at an investors' conference in Italy—all Jeeps will get electrified powertrains. Neither sets a firm timeline for the electrified products themselves or cover vehicle specifics.

FCA says that the latest plan will "enable new electrified Jeep products, including at least four plug-in hybrid vehicles and the flexibility to produce fully battery-electric vehicles," according to CEO Mike Manley.

Company spokeswoman Jodi Tinson confirmed to Green Car Reports on Tuesday that the plans for electrified Jeeps are separate from the mild-hybrid eTorque system that the company just introduced in its new Ram pickups.

READ MORE: Jeep Wrangler Plug-In Hybrid to go into production in 2020

The four plug-in hybrids include at least the new Grand Cherokee; the plug-in hybrid Wrangler that Jeep announced at the LA Auto Show in 2017, scheduled to go on sale in 2020; and plug-in hybrid versions of the brand's upcoming body-on-frame Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, which are also scheduled to debut in 2020 (though the plug-in hybrid systems could come later). FCA also produces a plug-in hybrid version of the Renegade in Italy and is planning an electric version of its Chinese Jeep Grand Commander.

What wasn't specifically announced is where FCA will source the batteries for all these plug-in hybrids, or where it will build their battery packs, though the manufacturing reshuffle could leave some room for increasing battery production to support the new electric and plug-in models.

 
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