As the automotive industry continues to push towards electric powertrains, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has shown that it will also continue to expand its mild-hybrid options. With options like the eTorque system options behind select Jeep® and Ram vehicles, the sales of those units have pushed FCA to top of mild-hybrid sales in 2019, according to Wards Intelligence.
According to the automotive industry data collector, it reported that FCA accounted for 105,676 vehicles with the eTorque 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrain technology, placing FCA well ahead of its nearest competitor which only accounted for 33,116 units. That over three times as many mild-hybrids in the market place in 2019.
We have talked about FCA’s eTorque technology several times before and most recently got to spend some time behind the wheel of a 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Black Crew Cab 4×4 with the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 equipped with the eTorque mild-hybrid system. Using a belt-driven motor-generator in place of a conventional alternator as most engines feature, a 48-volt battery pack allows the motor-generator to almost immediately start the engine from the stop. The system also allows additional torque to the crankshaft at launch and uses braking regeneration to recover energy as well.
The system allows for improved fuel efficiency as well as additional towing capacity and payload on the models that are equipped with the system.
We loved the fact that the eTorque system allows the engine to almost instantaneously be started, compared to the slower conventional start/stop systems that featured a start-motor actuation. We also loved the fact that the eTorque system allows drivers to continue to power the vehicle’s systems like air conditioning while the engine is off at a traffic light.
“Our eTorque mild-hybrid system is an example of adaptive electrification on high-volume vehicles such as the popular Ram 1500 pickup and Jeep® Wrangler,” says Micky Bly, FCA’s head of Global Propulsion System Engineering. “It delivers greater efficiencies, operates transparently and offers a price point that delivers value to our customers.”
The eTorque system comes as standard equipment on the 2020 Ram 1500 pickups powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. The eTorque system is also available on the legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine as well. The Jeep Wrangler also offers variants of the eTorque system for the 2020 model year. Those who opt for a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 on the four-door Unlimited Sahara models with the automatic transmission will also come with the eTorque mild-hybrid system.
FCA has also announced that a 12-volt system similar to the eTorque system will be making its way into select Fiat 500 and Panda models, hitting dealer showrooms at the end of this month. Showing that we may start seeing even more mild-hybrid models on a global scale from the automaker.