Plug-in Wrangler is Coming in 2020
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) recently announced their plans for the electrification of their lineup within the next five years. Industry experts report that Jeep is on track to manufacture a plug-in hybrid model of the Wrangler slated for showrooms in 2020. FCA reported that the key components for the plug-in Jeep will be made at its Toledo Machining Plant located in Ohio, responsible for the power inverter and the integrated dual charger. The machining plant will build, test, and ship the parts to the nearby Toledo Assembly Plant where the eco-friendly Wrangler will be put together. Jeep announced that the power inverter and the integrated dual charger – commonly referred to as the power electronics module – will be housed in a protective structure between the drive shaft and the exhaust.
No other details are available from Jeep at the present time, but all we have to do is look to FCA’s current lineup to gauge what technology is available for their vehicles. The six-cylinder Pentastar engine in the Wrangler is almost identical to the engine in the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid which could very well serve as the base. Experts expect that the 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar engine that couples with a plug-in hybrid powertrain on the Pacifica will be the standard for the Wrangler plug-in as well. The Pacifica Hybrid boasts an engine that is modified to the Atkinson cycle to supply efficiency at the expense of power output, an electronically variable transmission, dual electric motors for power and a 16 kWh battery pack. While this setup gives the minivan up to 33 miles range on all-electric drive, the Wrangler will probably be a little under that due to its size and weight unless Jeep modifies the size of the battery pack. Enlarging the size of the battery pack could be an option for Jeep, although it probably won’t be likely given the usage of the same drivetrain as the Pacifica Hybrid.
At this time, FCA gets their batteries for the Pacifica Hybrid from LG Chem in Michigan – it is expected that Jeep will likely do the same. The battery packs include thermal management to cool the flow of energy and a dense power-to-weight ratio of approximately 100 Wh per kilogram. As we mentioned earlier, FCA has plans to electrify 30 vehicles from its lineup within the next five years and we are sure that much more information about the plug-in Wrangler will become available the closer we get to its launch in 2020. The fuel efficiency and environmental benefits will be a large part of its appeal, but for experienced Jeepers and off-roaders, the thought of immediate torque and possibility of higher outputs at low speeds will be the most attractive features.
Is patience not your virtue? If you can’t wait until 2020, come by Hollywood Chrysler Jeep and check out our inventory of the all-new 2018 Wrangler JL. While you’re here you might as well check out the tech on the Pacifica Hybrid and take it for a test drive to get a feel for that drivetrain too.
If you’re already a proud Jeep owner save time and schedule your next service online with us!