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FCA inks deals with EU utilities to flesh out public, private EV charging networks

FCA is still playing catch-up in the EV space, but this should help a bit.

Don't worry, the PHEV Renegade should still be good at Regular Jeep Stuff.

It's no secret that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles isn't exactly moving at the same pace as its competitors, having one major loss-leading EV (the Fiat 500e), a few mild hybrids and not a whole lot else. Of course, that doesn't mean the market isn't still moving to embrace electrification, so FCA's latest move should help the company play catch-up to its rivals.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced on Friday that it has signed a deal with two European utility companies, Engie and Enel X, to help establish public and private EV chargers. The goal is to get this framework established before two new electrified FCA vehicles -- the next-generation electric Fiat 500 and the upcoming Jeep Renegade plug-in hybrid -- hit the market in Europe.

On the private side, FCA wants to offer its buyers the option of having a home charging point installed. It also has plans for its own properties, as well, working with Enel X to install about 700 charging stations at its plants, offices and R&D centers in Italy.

FCA will play more of a support-type role when it comes to public charging. It won't be funding the installation of multiple charging networks across Europe, but rather it will develop apps that let people find public charging points and initiate payments, including through the vehicle's own telematics system.

Enel X will work with FCA in Italy, Portugal and Spain, while Engie will help FCA in 14 other European markets: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. The automaker is also working to flesh out its dealer infrastructure by adding charging solutions for dealership customers, as well as vehicles currently in the shop for service.

It's believed that the next-generation Fiat 500e will debut before or during 2020, and that it will also have a small retro-themed wagon variant called the 500 Giardiniera, although it's unclear how much of this is slated for the US. Last we heard from Jeep, it intended to bring eight different plug-in hybrids to its lineup by 2021, including the aforementioned Renegade PHEV, as well as an electrified Wrangler. But again, it's not exactly clear how much of this will end up Stateside.

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