We don’t often report on plug-in hybrids because most of the new models coming out lately, like BMW’s eDrive powertrains or Audi’s e-tron PHEVs, have barely useful all-electric range – unlike some that can cover the average commute, like the Chevy Volt or the new Pacifica Hybrid.
After recently bringing the Pacifica to market, FCA now unveils another plug-in hybrid – this time under its Jeep brand: the Jeep Yuntu.
The seven-seat plug-in hybrid SUV concept was unveiled at the Shanghai auto show last week.
It features an electric-only range of ~40 miles (65 km) – similar to the range the Pacifica gets on its 16 kWh battery pack.
The Yuntu is only a concept, but FCA could leverage the plug-in powertrain developed for the Pacifica and put it in a SUV format. Though if that were to happen, it looks like it would be targeted at the Chinese market. Jeep wrote in a press release:
“The Jeep Yuntu Concept is a vehicle created for the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show, to target the tastes of Chinese customers. This new concept includes futuristic exterior design, flexible interior and a plug-in-hybrid powertrain. SUVs are the fastest-growing segment in China and the Jeep Yuntu Concept showcases the potential for the Jeep brand to keep expanding in the country.”
Here’s the prototype that they unveiled in Shanghai:
Several automakers have been focusing their electric vehicle plans in China lately due to the country’s more aggressive zero-emission mandate. Automakers need electric vehicles to represent at least 8% of their sales in 2018, 10% in 2019 and 12% in 2020.
It would be surprising to see this vehicle make it to the US without strict emission standards considering FCA’s approach to EVs. Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat/Chrysler, has been clear about only developing electric vehicles for incentives, claiming that he doesn’t understand how anyone can make money selling electric cars other than to comply with government mandates. He went as far as publicly asking customers not to buy FCA’s electric vehicles.