But last week’s news suggests that Fiat Chrysler is now starting to see more opportunities in the U.S., as well as other markets. If nothing else, said Abuelsamid, it has recognized that the competition will be driving the push to electrify as much as regulators.
Ford, for example, revealed plans in January to build an all-electric version of its F-150, the best-selling competitor to Fiat Chrysler’s Ram 1500. And General Motors is considering all-electric versions of its Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. A number of mainstream competitors are also working up plug-in hybrid and all-electric SUVs.
At the high end, meanwhile, BMW has developed a new “architecture,” or platform, that will underpin virtually all future models, including sedans, coupes and SUVs that can accommodate all possible types of engines.
“As they move Jeep up-market, in order to stay competitive in that segment, they need, at the least, plug-in hybrids and there’s increasing likelihood they’ll need battery-electric versions, too,” said Abuelsamid.