• Jeep Compass PHEV

Geneva Motor Show: Jeep Renegade & Compass Go Plug-in Hybrid

Off Road Capable with 31-Mile Electric Driving Range

Last October, Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA) stated that the Jeep Renegade plug-in hybrid (PHEV) would arrive in early 2020. In proof of that statement, Jeep unveiled a plug-in version of the Renegade on Tuesday at the Geneva Motor Show plus a surprise; a Jeep Compass PHEV.

Jeep Renegade PHEV

Taking electric drive off-road

Both models will employ the same powertrain set up and a new all-wheel drive technology that Jeep calls eAWD. The system combines a turbocharged 1.3-liter gasoline engine with the electric motor for a total output of 240 horsepower. Combined, Jeep claims, they provide enough output to scoot the Renegade to 60 mph in less than seven seconds. The numbers also apply to the Compass PHEV, which is still pending certification. Emissions are claimed to be lower than 50 grams/kilometer by EU measuring standards, well below the proposed 2021 EU target of 95 g/km.

Thanks to a dedicated rear motor that powers the rear wheels, a traditional prop shaft is not required. The PHEV Jeeps are not the first vehicle to employ this setup—various Toyotas also use this technology—and Jeep notes that it allows for more accurate proportioning of the torque split for more control. Combined with the constant torque properties of an electric motor, it provides more precision and control for maneuvering in rugged terrain, where a very low transmission ratio is needed.

Moderate Range

When fully charged, the battery has enough electrons to provide 31 miles of electric-only driving range based on the European drive cycle and an electric-only top speed of 81 mph for both the Renegade and the Compass. Both Jeep SUVs feature batteries that can be recharged by the internal combustion engine or by the charging cable plug-in.

Jeep Renegade PHEV

Some unique PHEV elements in the interior

Inside, the major change is a dedicated instrument cluster and infotainment screen, updated in order to help the customer with information related to daily PHEV driving.

While the two Jeeps are destined for Europe, Pietro Gorlier, FCA’s European chief, told trade publication Automotive News that the Renegade and Compass plug-in hybrids could be exported to the U.S. if there is sufficient demand. Our response to that is, you won’t know what the response in the U.S. is unless you bring them here, but given a Jeep Wrangler PHEV is planned for the U.S., the answer should be forthcoming next year.

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About Author: Larry E. Hall

Larry E. Hall is the Editor-At-Large at Clean Fleet Report. His interest and passion for automobiles began at age 7, cleaning engine parts for his father, a fleet manager for a regional bakery. He has written about cars and the automobile industry for more than 25 years and has focused his attention on “green” cars and advanced technology vehicles. Larry’s articles have been published by Microsoft’s MSNBC.com and MSN Autos as their alternative vehicles correspondent, and is currently the Senior Editor at HybridCars.com. His work has appeared in metro and suburban newspapers as well as business publications and trade journals. He is the founding president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association and a member of the Motor Press Guild. Larry lives and drives in Olympia Wa. with his wife, Lynne, who shares his passion for cars.

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