FCA Confirms Toledo Plant Will Manufacture Parts for Jeep Plug-In Hybrid
The first-ever hybrid Jeep is expected to arrive in 2020.
After decades of being the epicenter of the world-famous Jeep brand, Toledo, Ohio, has become synonymous with the rugged off-roader. So it's fitting that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has designated its Toledo Machining Plant to build a major component for Jeep's first plug-in hybrid variant.
According to a statement, the Toledo plant will build the "power electronics module" for the upcoming Jeep Wrangler plug-in hybrid, which is expected to launch in 2020. The module will house both the inverter, which changes the DC current of the battery pack to AC for powering an electric motor, as well as components for the charging system. The module will be housed on the underside of the vehicle, between the exhaust and the prop shaft, FCA said.
The announcement likely comes as a relief to the City of Toledo, as it is a sign that Jeep-related jobs will remain even as the automaker moves ahead with electrification. The factory that will build the power electronics module currently makes steering columns and torque converters for ongoing models, and it employs about 850 people, according to FCA. Jeep currently builds the Wrangler at a separate Toledo plant.
Jeep announced the Wrangler plug-in hybrid at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, where the current-generation JL Wrangler made its public debut, but hasn't offered many details. It's thought that the Wrangler will borrow some components from the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan, the only FCA plug-in hybrid currently in production.
As part of its new five-year plan, FCA said it will add electrified powertrains, encompassing hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or all-electric powertrains, to 30 nameplates by 2022. Other electrified models may include a Maserati plug-in hybrid coupe and crossover. Jeep may get other electrified models as well. The brand has become FCA's golden goose as the company seeks to wring everything it can out of the current SUV and crossover craze.