Jeep Renegade plug-in hybrid confirmed

2019 Jeep Renegade

A Jeep Renegade plug-in hybrid will join the brand’s portfolio in early 2020, parent automaker Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles confirmed on Monday. The Melfi manufacturing plant in Italy has begun preparing for the electrified Renegade variant as part of FCA’s wider electrification strategy.

The automaker said the Renegade plug-in will be built alongside the regular model and the 500X at the Italian manufacturing facility. Pre-production is scheduled to begin in 2019 before the tiniest of Jeeps with an electric motor baked in launches some time in 2020.

The new plug-in hybrid should launch with the model’s refreshed looks. The 2019 Renegade showed face this year with tweaks to the exterior design.

We’ve also heard a mild-hybrid system could join the powertrain portfolio. Called Jeep eTorque, the system would mimic the one in the 2019 Ram 1500 and employ a large starter motor to add torque from a stop and recover lost energy.

Details on the plug-in hybrid system are slim, but FCA will surely borrow technology from its first plug-in hybrid system found in the Chrysler Pacifica. FCA said the powertrain will enable the company to comply with new regulatory requirements in various regions it does business. Notably, Europe and China have begun to introduce more stringent emissions and fuel economy regulations.

FCA said its next five-year plan, organized under the late CEO Sergio Marchionne, will see 12 electric powertrains come to market. They will include battery-electric, plug-in hybrid, hybrid, and mild-hybrid systems, and by 2022, FCA will sell 30 vehicles equipped with one of the alternative powertrains. The automaker has notoriously shied away from electrification in the past and Marchionne famously said electric weren’t viable. That’s beginning to change.

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