News from the US suggests that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is in advance stages in the conversion plans of its first Jeep Wrangler plug-in hybrid model. The hybrid model is expected to be market ready in two years.
The brand’s Toledo plant in Ohio is being prepped for production of the power electronics module, an essential component that will house the power inverter and integrated dual charger for the electrified Wrangler. Usually it is positioned under the vehicle between the exhaust and propshaft.
One of the major announcements FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne had made about Jeep prior to passing was the electrification plan. This was revealed in early June and the elaborate plan envisaged plug-in variants to each of the brand’s SUVs by 2021.
The JL Wrangler is in its fourth-generation and will be introduced for 2019 with carryover Pentastar 3.6-litre V6 petrol engine and new eight-speed automatic transmission. Depending on markets, a 2.0-litre petrol and the existing 2.8-litre CRD turbo-diesel will also be by a 2.2-litre unit.
As work is in progress, FCA haven’t released any specific information related to the hybrid like battery capacity, emissions-free driving range and recharge time.
FCA North America head of manufacturing Brian Harlow said the Toledo Machining plant has risen to the challenge of executing an electrified Wrangler. “The insourcing of this highly advanced work to Toledo Machining is a reflection of the commitment the workforce has made to improving their processes through the implementation of world class manufacturing,” he said.
With Wrangler the first model set for electrification, the remaining nameplates including Renegade, Cherokee, Compass and Grand Cherokee could make use of the same technology.