Jeep Renegade Plug-in Promises to Conquer Nature the Socially Acceptable Way

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
jeep renegade plug in promises to conquer nature the socially acceptable way

There’s a raft of changes coming to Jeep’s Renegade for the 2019 model year, but the brand’s run-down of the various alterations for the U.S. market didn’t include the possibility of a gas-electric variant. That’s what’s coming to the model, however, as Fiat Chrysler looks to ditch its overseas diesel powerplants by 2021 and curry favor with green governments (and buyers).

On Monday, Jeep announced it had begun preparations for the production of a plug-in hybrid variant of its smallest model.

This should come as no surprise, as the automaker announced eight plug-in hybrid Jeep models for the American market during the June unveiling of its five-year plan. Globally, Jeep’s lineup is expected to gain 10 hybrids and four fully-electric vehicles by 2022. Backing the automaker’s company-wide electrification plan is over $10 billion in development cash.

Given former CEO Sergio Marchionne’s ambitions for the Jeep brand, no model in the brand’s lineup will remain untouched by electricity. While growth in Europe and China remains top of mind, the U.S. market isn’t exactly the most unregulated jurisdiction. A Wrangler PHEV is already in development.

One of the main benefits to rough-and-tumble Jeep purists of this setup, fuel bills aside, is the instant, measured, and strong torque made available by an electric motor, which could come in handy while rock crawling. Hunters might like the ability to arrive in the woods in relative silence, depending on forest floor material.

For 2019, the Italy-built Renegade gains an uplevel 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, good for 177 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque. The 2.4-liter Tigershark motor remains in the Renegade fold. No details exist on what kind of range to expect from the plug-in.

So, when can we expect a PHEV model? FCA claims the hybridized Renegade should launch in Europe in early 2020, though we’re almost certain to see it arrive here not long after.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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  • Jfb43 Jfb43 on Oct 08, 2018

    It's good to see the hybridization of "normal" vehicles; not just the ones people use for virtue signaling.

    • See 1 previous
    • Luke42 Luke42 on Oct 09, 2018

      @cdrmike Yeah, Prii have replaced the Honda Civic as the default boring responsible car. They're GREAT cars to own -- though I fully admit they're owner's cars more than driver's cars. We had ours for 12 years. When we first bought it, it was a green-tech wonder. That wore off very quickly, and we were left with an efficient and reliable car. The rest of the world caught up a few years later -- with jfb43 getting the memo on 2018. The greener-than-thou crowd rides Dr an cargo bicycles.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Oct 10, 2018

    The Renegade is tiny. Itty-bitty. Made for narrow Old World roads. Where the hell would they strap enough battery capacity to be useful? The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV coughs up only 22 electric miles and it has a much longer undercarriage, and no mechanical connection to the rear drive wheels to get in the way (rear wheels electric only, front wheels able to cycle from gas, electric, or gas-electric hybrid). This smells like another European short-range bad-faith fake PHEV that kicks on the gas engine at the faintest whiff of throttle and can't go more than 14 miles on a charge, but rather exists only to allow urban drivers (who really need an SUV for those cobblestones, don't you know) to evade congestion or pollution charges for entering the city center by saying they will do so in "electric mode."

  • Theflyersfan As a kid, a neighbor had one of these full-sized conversion vans with the TV and wet bar in the back. And it was so cool to go in - as a kid it was, driving it had to be terror at times with blind spots, iffy power and brakes, and the feeling that you're hauling your living room with you! Kids of the 1970s and 1980s had this experience. Afterwards with minivans and then CUV everything, not so much.And I'm crushed that a 1977 van doesn't have some kind of mural on the sides. Coyote howling at the moon, American flag, Confederate flag, bright stripes, something! You can't have a 1970's era van with plain sides! At least a "Don't Laugh. Your daughter's in here" bumper sticker on the back. I always get a Gacy or Bundy vibe with these vans...
  • Jeff S In the EV market Tesla is not a niche player it is the major player. According to the latest data of the California-based vehicle valuation and automotive research company  Kelley Blue Book, Tesla has the lion’s share with 75 percent market share in  the electric vehicle market in the first three months of 2022.Tesla has dominated the electric vehicle market for years in the United States. The electric vehicles manufactured by Tesla accounted for 79 percent of the new electric vehicles registered in the United States in 2020 and 69,95 percent in 2021. The decrease in the market share in 2021 might be explained by backlogs and the global chip shortage, but the company is ramping up its sales and has already increased its market share to 75 percent in the first quarter of the year. According to Kelley Blue Book, the top 10 EVs sold in the US in the first quarter of 2022 are;[list=1][*]Tesla Model Y[/*][*]Tesla Model 3[/*][*]Ford Mustang Mach-E[/*][*]Tesla Model X[/*][*]Hyundai Ioniq 5[/*][*]Kia EV6[/*][*]Tesla Model S[/*][*]Nissan Leaf[/*][*]Kia Niro[/*][*]Audi e-Tron[/*][/list=1]Tesla has delivered 310,048 vehicles in the first quarter of 2022, another first-quarter record. The success of Tesla is proven once again as the company has three electric cars in the top 10 most selling electric vehicles in the United States, while no other manufacturer has even two different models on the list.Tesla leads all others, selling slightly over 936,000 units in 2021. This gave the company a market share of nearly 14%.Mar 30, 2022
  • Jeff S I did not know Plymouth had a full size van prior to the mini vans. I did know about the Plymouth pickups and the Trail Duster.
  • Arthur Dailey When I grew tired of the T-Bird trying to kill me by refusing to start at the most inconvenient times/places, I replaced it with a '79 fullsized Dodge (Sportsman) van. Similar to this but with a different grille and rectangular headlights. The 4 'captains' chairs in my van were pretty much identical to the ones in this van. Mine certainly was not as nicely finished inside. And it was a handful to drive in snow/ice. One thing that strikes me about this van is that although a conversion it does not seem to have the requisite dark tint on the windows.
  • Jeff S I am not a fan of Tesla and they were niche vehicles but it seems that they have become more common. I doubt if I get an EV that it would be a Tesla. The electrical grid will have to be expanded because people over the long run are not going to accept the excuse of the grid can't handle people charging their EVs.