Vehicles are currently being tested in Europe.
The European Union is one that takes emissions seriously. Perhaps radically. Carbon taxes, congestion charges, and the like have all been slowly gaining more and more momentum across the continent, with many major brands and cities aiming to be 100% green within the next decade. One company that has been a bit slow to embrace change is Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
Nevertheless, it's better to start late than never. Thus, A Jeep Renegade 4xe plug-in hybrid has been equipped with sensors that can inform the car's power plant when it has entered a city center. Once this happens, the hybrid Renegade will switch off its internal combustion engine and switch to electric power alone.
Despite this being a relatively late start from the brand that doesn't even offer the 4xe in the U.S. yet, it's reassuring to see that the corporation that is determined to put almost 800 horsepower in a Durango also wants to ensure the survival of such ridiculously overpowered machines like the Demon and Hellcat.
This clever new project is dubbed Turin Geofencing Lab and seems to be a brilliant way to maximize freedom of cars with gas engines in congested cities. Although testing has only just begun in Italy, we have no doubt that similar ideas will come from the rest of the world's automakers in time.
Still, what's the biggest problem electric vehicles and hybrids have? Range, of course.
So what happens if your car's battery is low but you're in a city? Well, this project has apparently accounted for that, and won't automatically switch to electric-only power if the battery is too low. The technology sounds promising, and with the possibility of Compass, Wrangler, and Renegade hybrid models joining the lineup, FCA and Jeep in particular could finally be catching up with the rest of the world. The sooner they do so, the better for other technological marvels like the Hellephant engine.
That's the kind of balanced compromise we like.