L.A. Auto Show: Jeep Wrangler Going Electric in 2020

November 29, 2017 by Ryan ZumMallen, @Zoomy575M

The Jeep Wrangler off-road SUV is going to get an electric option.

The automaker plans to launch a plug-in hybrid powertrain version in 2020, the division of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said Wednesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The plug-in Wrangler will feature a range-extending engine. No specifications were provided by the company.

“We have to make sure that the Wrangler has a long and healthy future,” Jeep head Mike Manley told Trucks.com.

To do that, Jeep needs to look ahead to future regulations that will govern fuel economy and CO2 emissions standards, Manley said. The brand will also need to remain competitive in the process.

“Electrification is therefore naturally part of the future lineup for Wrangler,” he said.

Jeep had previously announced that the new 2018 Wrangler will be available with a mild hybrid system called eTorque. It allows the turbocharged four-cylinder engine to shut down as the vehicle coasts to a stop. It can store energy through regenerative braking and use it to start the vehicle under electric power.

The eTorque system debuts a new 48-volt battery for FCA.

The plug-in hybrid powertrain will require an entirely different system. No vehicle as rugged as a Jeep Wrangler combines plug-in capability with a range extender. The most notable adopters include the Chevrolet Volt and BMW i3 sedans.

FCA currently makes the Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivan. It can travel 33 miles on electric power and has a lithium-ion battery pack with 16-kWh. Its 3.6-liter V6 engine brings total range to 566 miles. However, it is not considered a range extender.

Jeep did not disclose the size of the battery in the plug-in Wrangler. Nor did it reveal how the battery will be sourced. It is also unknown what motor will serve as the range extender.

Manley did make it clear that electric powertrains play an important role in Jeep’s future. Due to its ability to deliver instant torque, Manley called electrification “a natural fit” for the brand.

“You will see another model,” he said.

Read next: 2018 Jeep Wrangler Sports a New Design, Hybrid and Diesel Engines

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One Response

  1. JQ

    Damn, wanted a jeep for the longest time. Then when dapl showed their willingness to violently abuse people peacefully protesting their pipeline, I vowed only to go straight electric from then on. Too bad you are waiting till 2020 and only doing a hybrid rather than full electric. Get with the program guys! By the time you guys come out with full electric I will probably already have a truck from tesla or other manufacture. Guess my wait for a jeep continues.

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