Fiat Chrysler rolled out the first gas-electric hybrid Jeep on Sept. 3, 2020. (File photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Fiat Chrysler rolled out the first gas-electric hybrid Jeep on Sept. 3, 2020. (File photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Wrangler introduces Jeep’s first electric-powered vehicle

Meeting fuel economy and pollution regulations

DETROIT — Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep brand is starting to offer gas-electric hybrid and eventually full electric powertrains across its lineup.

The company rolled out the first of them Thursday, a plug-in Wrangler to go on sale in the U.S., Europe and China early next year.

The main reason driving the new offerings likely is FCA’s obligation to meet fuel economy and pollution regulations in Europe, China, and the U.S. or face stiff fines or steep costs to buy electric vehicle credits from companies like Tesla.

The Wrangler 4xe can go 25 miles on electricity before a 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine takes over. Drivers can choose to have an engine-powered generator recharge the batteries (at a higher fuel consumption rate), although it would take about 2.5 hours at 45 to 55 mph (72.4 to 88.5 kilometres per hour) to fully replenish them.

Fiat Chrysler and Jeep, by far its most popular brand, have been late to the electric vehicle party. While crosstown rivals Ford and General Motors are rolling out new fully electric vehicles, Fiat Chrysler’s only offering with battery power in the U.S. is a hybrid Chrysler Pacifica minivan.

The Wrangler 4xe, due in showrooms early next year, will have a 375 horsepower available if electric and gas motors are used at the same time, and the company says it will get the equivalent of 50 miles per gallon of gasoline (21.3 kilometres per litre). It can also run in a hybrid mode, switching between gasoline and electricity to get the most efficiency.

Fiat Chrysler says Jeep will have electric options on each of its vehicles in the next few years. Already it’s introducing plug-in Compass and Renegade small SUVs in Europe.

It’s not clear if there’s a big market yet for a plug-in Wrangler, or any electric vehicles for that matter, said Guidehouse analyst Sam Abuelsamid. Last year in the U.S., only 310,000 plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles were sold, less than 2% of the market.

But the plug-in Wrangler does hold some appeal.

“There are a lot of Jeep owners, people who go off-roading, who also want to preserve the environment where they go off-roading,” Abuelsamid said.

The price for the plug-in wasn’t revealed, but it will surely be a premium over the gas-powered version. A four-door model for 2021 starts at $31,795 excluding shipping.

At the other end of the spectrum, Fiat Chrysler also announced that the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer full-size SUVs will return next year. The company showed off a Grand Wagoneer concept vehicle with a fully electric powertrain.

By The Associated Press

Automotive

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Whistle Stop Cafe owner Christopher Scott and his sister Melodie are serving sit-down customers in their Mirror diner to protest health restrictions that they say are unfair to restaurants and other small businesses. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Central Alberta restaurant owner defies health restrictions by serving diners

Whistle Stop Cafe owner says pandemic restrictions unfair to restaurants and small businesses

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said in her daily update on Monday that 362 new COVID cases have been identified and 7,200 tests done in the last 24 hours. (File photo)
COVID-19: UK variant may have entered broader community says Alberta health minister

25 cases of two variants identified in Alberta and one not linked to travel

An ice sculpture of a bee with a timely message was created near the Ross Street Patio. It’s party of a Downtown Business Association initiative to draw more people downtown to support local businesses. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Ice sculptures created to draw more people to downtown Red Deer

Three sculptures can be seem at various venues

Lab and x-ray technologist Rebecca Walter demonstrates a new digital radiographic X-ray unit funded by an $850,000 donation. The new unit is at the Sylvan Lake Advanced Ambulatory Care Service.
Photo contributed
New Sylvan Lake X-ray unit up and running

Radiographic x-ray unit made possible by $850,000 donation from Sylvan Lake couple

(Black Press file photo)
Police seeking suspects in Bowden armed robbery

Man was beaten and robbed of his wallet

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

Toronto Maple Leafs alumni George Armstrong, right, and son of Maple Leafs alumni Syl Apps, Syl Apps Jr., shake hands during a pre-game ceremony before the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets NHL game in Toronto on February 21, 2015. George Armstrong, who captained the Toronto Maple Leafs to four Stanley Cups in the '60s and wore the blue and white his entire career, has died. He was 90. The Maple Leafs confirmed the death Sunday on Twitter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese
Former Maple Leafs captain George Armstrong dies

Former Maple Leafs captain George Armstrong dies

Green Bay Packers' Adrian Amos pauses after losing the NFC championship NFL football game to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Green Bay, Wis., Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. The Buccaneers defeated the Packers 31-26 to advance to the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Aaron Rodgers’ ‘uncertain’ future hangs over Green Bay

Aaron Rodgers’ ‘uncertain’ future hangs over Green Bay

Toronto Argonauts head coach Scott Milanovich calls the plays on the sideline against Winnipeg Blue Bombers during the first half of CFL action in Winnipeg on August 14, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Scott Milanovich steps down as Edmonton’s head coach to pursue opportunities in NFL

Scott Milanovich steps down as Edmonton’s head coach to pursue opportunities in NFL

Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) goes under Indiana Pacers guards Malcolm Brogdon (7) and Jeremy Lamb (26) to shoot during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Michael Conroy
Brogdon scores 36 points to lead Pacers over Toronto Raptors

Brogdon scores 36 points to lead Pacers over Toronto Raptors

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2020, file photo, baseballs occupy a bucket after use during fielding practice during spring training baseball workouts for pitchers and catchers at Cleveland Indians camp in Avondale, Ariz. Major League Baseball is suspending all political contributions in the wake of last week's invasion of the U.S. Capitol by a mob loyal to President Donald Trump, joining a wave of major corporations rethinking their efforts to lobby Washington. “In light of the unprecedented events last week at the U.S. Capitol, MLB is suspending contributions from its Political Action Committee pending a review of our political contribution policy going forward,” the league said in a statement to The Associated Press on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
Cactus League asks MLB to delay spring training due to COVID

Cactus League asks MLB to delay spring training due to COVID

Patrick Cantlay, right, bumps fists with Andrew Putman before teeing off on the first hole during the final round of The American Express golf tournament on the Pete Dye Stadium Course at PGA West Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, in La Quinta, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Si Woo Kim holds off Cantlay to win The American Express

Si Woo Kim holds off Cantlay to win The American Express

Danielle Kang winds up to hit her tee shot on the fifth hole during the final round of the Tournament of Champions LPGA golf tournament, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Jessica Korda rallies to beat Kang in playoff at LPGA opener, Henderson ninth

Jessica Korda rallies to beat Kang in playoff at LPGA opener, Henderson ninth

COVID-19 scare prompts cancellation of Canada-U. S. soccer scrimmage in Florida

COVID-19 scare prompts cancellation of Canada-U. S. soccer scrimmage in Florida

Most Read