Jeep Goes Electric at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show

March 14th, 2019 by

 

Jeep is going electric, and at the Geneva auto-show, it introduced the plug-in hybrid versions of the Renegade and Compass models, and 2019 has been quite the year. First, presenting the 2020 Gladiator at the Cleveland Auto Show and then announcing an investment of $4.5 billion to build a new building to continue making the Jeeps. Now, it has just announced a new PHEV vehicle.     

The Renegade PHEV is set to be available in early 2020. The PHEV system will match a 1.3-liter turbocharged gasoline engine with an electric motor. The gas engine will push the front wheels, and the electric motor will force the rear axle, which will distribute instant traction and all-wheel-drive ability to enhance each model’s off-road production.

Both models will produce between 190 and 240 horsepower. The Renegade can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in seven seconds. The Compass performance has not been certified for that metric system yet.

The Renegade and the Compass can travel 31 miles on battery alone. The maximum speed is 81 mph but remaining that speed will reduce range. They are built off the same platform, even though the Compass has to some degree a longer wheelbase.   

In terms of equipment, the most significant change for the 2019 update, is the 1.3-liter turbocharged, which is good for 200 lb-ft of torque and 177 hp, replacing the original 1.4-liter turbo-four. For the base engine, it’ll still have the 2.4-liter Tigershark, which is good for 180 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. However, no news has been shared about the plug-in hybrid powertrain, which is expected to be matched with one of the new engines.  

With Jeep going electric it’ll add so much more comfort and convenience features as well. The all-wheel-drive system, the electronic version, will feature a motor rather than a prop shaft, allowing separation between the two axles, which will control the torque more effectively than a mechanical system. As pricing continues to twindle for electrification, it becomes effortless for automakers to offer those technologies as an option for drivers.    

The two models are Jeep’s lowest entry point vehicles, with the Compass starting at $21,845 and the Renegade starting at $22,025. It’s unclear what the hybrid versions will cost, but it’s expected to be available in early 2020, but it hasn’t been confirmed for sale in the United States.   The younger demographic of buyers tend to go for the Compass and Renegade models because pricing is a big factor. Environment and efficiency also play a significant role when it comes time to decide.

WHAT ABOUT OFF-ROAD CAPABILITY?:

While being at the lower end of the Jeep pole, the Renegade and Compass still need to have some off-road capability; it is Jeep after all. Jeep claims that electrifying both cars will help on the trails. Electric motors can be controlled like dimmer switches, which provide instant and infinite modification of power output which is crucial in off-roading because power has to be carefully meted out to avoid slipping on low-traction surfaces like dirt, mud or rocks.

FCA announced its plans of investing $4.5 billion to expand production of its larger SUVs in the Detroit area, back in 2016 but made it official at the beginning of 2019. The expansion will include a new assembly plant for the manufacture of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and a more massive Jeep with three rows of seats. A nearby assembly plant will be reorganized for production of some Ram Trucks and the new Grand Wagoneer and Jeep Wagoneer.

The majority of those Jeeps will have gas internal combustion engines, but the investment will include the production of plug-in hybrid versions of each new model, and eventually battery-only versions, as well. The Jeep Renegade and Compass plug-in hybrid’s will be built in Italy. It will be two of the ten PHEV Jeep models by 2022.

There have been more than 742,000 Renegades built at the Melfi plant since the introduction in 2014, with every U.S.-bound Renegade coming from the Italian factory. There will be more workers hired, and the whole plant is to be modernized in preparation for the launch, bringing in nearly $230 million in investment. With Jeep sales going strong in the U.S., these latest developments should come as little surprise.   

If you’re interested in test-driving a Jeep model, make sure to check them out at Cape Coral Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM.

Photo Credit: autoblog.com

 

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