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Back in early November, when Chrysler had its big business plan meeting, it became clear that most of the plug-in electric drive programs that the company has been promoting since early 2008 were being abandoned. One new test program that was announced was a plug-in hybrid version of the Ram pickup. The PHEV truck will be based on the two-mode hybrid Ram that is launching in 2010.

Chrysler will be getting some help on the project from Professor Chris Mi at University of Michigan - Dearborn. Chrysler will be sharing $3.1 million of the $48 million grant it received as part of a stimulus bill plug-in development program. Mi will be developing a lab for the testing and characterization of electronics, batteries, motors and control systems. Chrysler hopes to have a test fleet of PHEV Rams on the road sometime in 2011.

[Source: University of Michigan - Dearborn]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 4 Comments
      • 3 Months Ago
      Good job guys! You should be looking into these vehicles as you can make the biggest percentage increase with these vehicles by making them hybrids plug in or not but yes I like the idea of plug in. In 2005 GM had a start and stop setup on their Silverado. They even had a outlet to run a saw. I remember the commercials.
      • 3 Months Ago
      I am from the South and to be honest, the South will not embrace "hybrid" or even "EV" technologies until they make them feasible. In the South, we work, we play, and we commute in our trucks. They perform all functions of life. So, until trucks can be powered by a dc motor or a plug-in hybrid drive like this, they won't sell in the South.

      BUT, put me on the list for buying one of the first plug-in hybrid Ram. I love the trucks and to have them semi-EV would be great. That to me would be the next step to an EV "real" truck. No ev ranger to pull your jet ski. I'm talking about a trailer hauling TRUCK that will pull the equivalent to a gas guzzling Hemi.
        • 3 Months Ago
        What does the South do if gas hits $5 a gallon?
        • 3 Months Ago
        That's the crazy thing. We just go broke buying $5 gasoline. It shows the dedication (or ignorance) to our trucks and how we depend on them. It's kindof like tractor trailers (trucks or 18-wheelers as you want to call them), they're used to transport the goods that you buy across this great nation every day and every night. Making a plugin-hybrid or completely electric tractor trailer would be the biggest feat to date in transportation. And from what I read the other day, Kenworth and Peterbuilt have a few models coming out that are hybrid but not plug-in hybrid. So at least they're moving in the right direction.

        The point I guess I was trying to make above is, all these companies want to create these tiny cars that run on some alternative fuel or a sedan that is a plugin-hybrid but that's not a big enough market. Statistics are for dreamers. Yes, the average person drives only 20 miles per day on average but it doesn't say what they drive. People in the South (including myself) drive an SUV for a few reasons, one for which I mentioned above and that's that we need the vehicle to perform multiple functions as we cannot afford to own 3 different vehicles so we consolidate and use just one to perform all 3. The last being that some of us like to be comfortable when we drive and/or go vacationing. It's just not worth the $600-$800 extra per year for the fuel cost to compromise comfort.

        Don't get me wrong, I'm all for electrics. I want one the second they roll off the assembly line (I was hoping for the Zeo but that won't happen). The Volt seems to be a good choice for a small family that only commutes and only travels to places that don't require lots of luggage. But for a family of four and travelling say to Disney World, you need 1) room, 2) storage, and 3) power to pull that off. A Chevrolet Volt will just not suffice. This is why I'm so excited about Daimler releasing info about a plugin-hybrid truck. It's the first step and that step to me is as big as "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind"...