FCA hasn’t been terribly enthusiastic about electric vehicles in the past, but according to a report obtained by Mopar Insiders, the company may be planning a mild hybrid Durango to be introduced in 2020.
The hybrid power system is expected to be the same 48-volt Motor Generator Unit (MGU) used on the Ram hybrid. The MGU is a small motor (and generator) that replaces the alternator. A suitcase-sized battery goes somewhere inside the vehicle. The system is good for two miles per gallon on the eight-cylinder Ram 1500.
This is not the Durango’s first foray into electrification; the previous generation briefly had a hybrid option at the end of its run.
Not too long ago, FCA’s former CEO Sergio Marchionne was openly critical of electric vehicles, even asking customers not to buy the company’s Fiat 500e compliance car. Other efforts were grimmer. Over the last few months, however, the company has significantly expanded its electrification plans with nine billion euros budgeted for EV projects through 2022. This is likely a result of the company having to give Tesla hundreds of millions of dollars to pool the two automakers’ cars, lowering FCA’s average emissions outputs to avoid big EU fines.