The guinea pig of sorts may be the Wrangler, which moved almost a quarter-million units in the US last year. The Wrangler could get a hybrid drivetrain by the 2017 model year, as Jeep executives look to maintain the model's feel and torque while boosting its fuel economy. The Wrangler gets a pretty paltry 18 miles per gallon combined out of its six-cylinder mill, so the bar's set pretty low.
Of course, we've heard this talk before. In late 2013, Chrysler Asia-Pacific product planning manager Steve Bartoli told Australia's Drive that a Jeep hybrid was pretty much inevitable, though not much has been mentioned since.
FCA could use all the help it can get in the fuel economy department. The group brought up the rear among automakers when it came to fuel efficiency, the US Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA) said in its EPA Trends report released last October. The FCA models combined for a 21.1 miles per gallon average for the 2014 model year, compared to the 24.2 mpg overall industry average.
The group's only electric vehicle in the US is the low-volume Fiat 500e, though the company may start selling a plug-in hybrid version of its Chrysler Town & Country by the end of the year.