Future plug-in hybrids from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles could sense when a driver enters a congested city center and automatically flip into an electric-only mode. Technology is wild, guys.
FCA detailed a new project on Wednesday, which it calls the Turin Geofencing Lab, which will run in Italy. The project consists of a Jeep Renegade plug-in hybrid with sensors that tell the car's powertrain it's entered a city center and so it should produce zero emissions and turn off the internal-combustion engine.
Not only would it save emissions in crowded cities, this would also provide benefits to drivers of a plug-in hybrid since it would open up use of EV-dedicated perks in some European cities, such as dedicated parking spaces. At the end of the day, a program like this is meant to cut emissions, though. Many cities on the continent have enacted restricted traffic zones, which bar certain cars due to emissions.
Plug-in hybrids provide the best of both worlds: Typically, there's enough electric range to do local errands, while the engine and hybrid system keep things efficient for long journeys. But if a hybrid's battery didn't have a sufficient charge, it wouldn't be able to automatically flip into an EV only mode.
FCA has been slow to introduce electrified vehicles across its multiple brands, though plans are speeding up. We first saw mild-hybrid technology reach the Jeep's 4xe badge in the US, likely with a .and now buyers can drive home in an , too. Soon, we'll also see