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Buried deep within the announcement by Fiat regarding the 500 EV coming to the U.S. was the mention of the cancellation of the Dodge Ram two-mode hybrid. We didn't miss it, but just in case you did, here's a recap.

The Ram two-mode hybrid was scheduled for release as a 2011 model. We even have shots of the truck in testing from a year ago. As recently as a few months back, Chrysler insisted that the program was still under way and on track to hit its target release date. Then, just weeks ago, news surfaced temporarily confirming that the hybrid Ram was still on track – in fact a production schedule was even laid out showing an expected production date of November of this year.

But all of the hype and anticipation has now come to an end with this official announcement from Chrysler-Fiat. Citing lack of a market for a hybrid Ram, the company has officially called it the end... for now.

[Source: Autoblog]


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  • 15 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      This probably goes hand in hand with the possiblility of them bringing back the light duty diesel Ram. People who actually use trucks as trucks don't want a hybrid, they want a diesel and have been crying for it for years. I still believe the first manufacturer to put a diesel in a 1/2 ton or smaller pickup will make a mint on it. Even with a $5k-$7k premium real truck buyers will buy it. There are many truck buyers who spend $12k plus to step up to a 3/4 ton just to get a diesel when they otherwise would be fine with a 1/2 ton.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Brandon

        "They do? Do you know any of these people, because I know truck people and none want anything to do with electrics."

        Hybrid trucks have been used for decades. Every single mining truck is a hybrid.

        "Do you think a diesel engine could push a train? What do you think powers those electric motors?"

        Most European trains are fully electric. No diesel motors there. So yeah, electricity can push trains.


        "So its not because there is no way to build a gearbox small enough to fit on a locomotive but strong enough to transmit the 4000+ hp of a locomotive engine? Hmm, interesting."

        Again....take a trip and see for yourself. The world's fastest trains too are electric.


        "Work trucks need to be tough enough to carry the loads and tow tons of stuff."
        Agreed.

        Yep, that's what the most heavy duty trucks on earth are Hybrids.



        • 5 Years Ago
        "Forgive me but people who use trucks as trucks should want an electric motor doing all the work."

        They do? Do you know any of these people, because I know truck people and none want anything to do with electrics.

        "Do you think a diesel engine could push a train?"
        What do you think powers those electric motors?

        "Trains have electric motors pushing all that weight and do you know why?"
        I bet you sure are going to tell me.

        " Diesel, like all internal combustion, has either low end torque or high end torque but never both and almost none from a dead stop. Electric motors have maximum torque at all rpms, including zero rpm."
        So its not because there is no way to build a gearbox small enough to fit on a locomotive but strong enough to transmit the 4000+ hp of a locomotive engine? Hmm, interesting.


        "Work trucks need to be tough enough to carry the loads and tow tons of stuff."
        Agreed.

        " Internal combustion simply cannot compete with electric motors."
        Well when you are talking about transmitting the power of a 4000hp diesel engine to 12 relatively small steel wheels sure.

        "In a train, the diesel engines only spin a generator to provide power to the electric motor. Even without a battery this would be the ultimate truck in terms of both power and fuel economy."
        Diesel engine to direct drive transmission only has the inefficiency of the diesel engine multiplied by the inefficiency of the geared transmission vs. the inefficiency of the diesel engine, multiplied by the inefficiency of the generator losses in the power transmission to the electric motor, multiplied by the inefficiency of the electric motor.

        "Throw in a battery and you have a system similar to the Chevy Volt (but different so they can't sue you :) which would kick a$$ on any diesel powered pickup."
        Im sure truck buyers would love thousands of pounds of batteries where their available payload used to be.

        TheTom, its obvious from your response that you don't own a truck or do any work with a truck. People who own a truck don't want thousands of pounds of batteries taking up payload. They don't want electric motors that their normal mechanics don't know how to work on.

        Also about locomotives, you obviously know nothing about them either. The reason locomotives use diesel engines turning generators powering electric motors is not for fuel efficiency but because you can't make a gearbox that could handle the enourmous power of a diesel locomotive small enough. In fact the drivetrain of a semi is far more efficient than a diesel locomotive.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Forgive me but people who use trucks as trucks should want an electric motor doing all the work. Do you think a diesel engine could push a train? Trains have electric motors pushing all that weight and do you know why? Diesel, like all internal combustion, has either low end torque or high end torque but never both and almost none from a dead stop. Electric motors have maximum torque at all rpms, including zero rpm.

        Work trucks need to be tough enough to carry the loads and tow tons of stuff. Internal combustion simply cannot compete with electric motors.

        In a train, the diesel engines only spin a generator to provide power to the electric motor. Even without a battery this would be the ultimate truck in terms of both power and fuel economy. Throw in a battery and you have a system similar to the Chevy Volt (but different so they can't sue you :) which would kick a$$ on any diesel powered pickup.

        /end soapbox?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Nick

        "Hybrid trucks have been used for decades. Every single mining truck is a hybrid."

        Yes for exactly the same reason every locomotive is a "hybrid" because they can't make gearboxes for direct drive.

        "Most European trains are fully electric. No diesel motors there. So yeah, electricity can push trains."

        That's great. Electric trains are prevelant in many parts of the US too. They make a lot of sense because they travel on fixed paths and can have overhead wires or a 3rd rail to power them. Where did I say electricity can't push trains?

        "Yep, that's what the most heavy duty trucks on earth are Hybrids."
        What the heck do mining haul trucks have to do with onroad heavyduty pickups? Haul trucks are diesel electric because gearboxes would be impractical. No haul truck out there has batteries to store any electricity. The diesel electric nature of haul trucks do not make them more efficient they simply eliminate the transmission.

        At this time EV or hybrid makes little sense for pickup trucks. Batterys add tons of weight cutting into possible payload and towing capacity. For example the standard GMC Sierra has 10,500lb max towing capacity, the Hybrid has 6,100lb. That is a pretty big drop in payload for a few mpg. Add that to the fact you now have a truck with batteries and electric motors. Truck people have been traditionally paranoid of changes. They know diesels so they accept them. They don't know hybrids so they won't accept them until they are proven to be significantly better than what they have now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Pride in conspicuous consumption is hard to overcome. Especially when margins on a non hybrid are greater and more can be spent on advertising to sell masculinity with the product.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's true. The car companies know better than to make an ad about the vehicle and its real (and disastrous for our economy) consequences. They'd rather show you the car racing down closed off streets, Tokyo drifting, spinning the tires or jumping off ramps. Wow how exciting. But you'd never do that with your vehicle no matter how stupid you are.

        The truck ads all show them towing a huge $50,000 boat or getting 1500 pounds of steel or other stuff dropped into the bed. Stuff you'll never do even if you own the truck a hundred years.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great timing . . . oil is up over $80/barrel and will be higher in the coming years.

      Did we bail-out GM so they could bankrupt themselves again?
        • 5 Years Ago
        This is Chrysler, not GM. Unlike Chrysler, GM actually knows how to build, market, and sell great vehicles.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Fiat 500 looks great! Nice to see Chrysler making friends with A123 Systems for the lithium-ion batteries that will make their cars, trucks, and minivans green.

      Researching how to make your company, product, or next project more Green? Go to www.greencollareconomy.com for sustainability white papers and the largest b2b green directory on the web.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Too bad but prolly a wise move. GM Hybrid trucks aren't selling so well, so why would this?

      I think it was mainly a cost issue...which I hope will be solved over time.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Actually TheTom and Brandon you are both wrong as regards diesel locomotives. I am no expert but it’s amazing the information you can glean by a quick search of the WWW.

      We have had diesel locomotives driving the wheels via a 2 speed gear box for many years in the UK (England). These are normally small trains of about 4 or 5 carriages in length that service the non electrified sections (60%) of the UK rail network. There are plans to electrify more of the UK rail network to reduce its carbon and pollution footprint. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railway_electrification_in_Great_Britain and or http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/pi/rail-electrification.pdf

      Direct-drive diesel locomotives often require an impractical number of gears to keep the engine within its powerband; coupling the diesel to a generator eliminates this problem. Power still needs to be transmitted to the generator or alternator via a simple gearbox but this is advantageous because;

      • Mere cables transmit the power to the axle traction motors, not a complex system of rods

      • Sending power to a generator via a low powerband, i.e., diesel, is analogous to sending power to a propeller, in that one gear ratio is enough, unlike sending power to wheels, where several ratios are necessary. This is because the high friction between wheels and contact surface requires a low gear for takeoff to avoid stalling, and higher gears thereafter, since the output shaft moves relative to vehicle speed and would over-rev the engine if just one gear was available. In a generator or alternator, the force is magnetism, not a high friction surface so a high gear is fine since the magnetism is not great enough to stall the engine. The result is that the diesel-electric system puts the diesel’s low powerband to best use.

      • Dynamic braking, sometimes called rheostatic, electric or regenerative braking, is also available on some DEMUs. By attaching the motors to an electrical load they act as generators and slow the train down. The load is usually resistors which dissipate electrical energy as heat to the atmosphere, though it is sometimes used to heat the interiors. In some cases it is stored for later use or passed back into external power supplies. The advantage for this method of braking is reduced wear and tear on the main service brakes.

      See this Wikipedia article for more info on both direct drive and diesel electric locos http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_multiple_unit.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's basically what I was saying just put in a different way. The gearbox required would have to be massive, that is why from the start in the 1930s of diesel locomotives were diesel/electric. Many people continue to spread the misconception locomotives use a diesel generator/electric motor as a drive because of efficiency but it is just incorrect. Every conversion of energy from one form to another has losses that add up. In a conventional direct drive diesel you have 1 conversion, from chemical to motion, plus all the losses due to friction and heat. In a diesel electric locomotive you have 3 conversions, from chemical to motion, motion to electric, and electric back to motion, again plus all the losses due to friction and heat.


        My inflamitory response was more due to the fact that certain people think they "know" that everything should be a hybrid or electric vehicle immediately and any manufacturer or customer who thinks otherwise has just not been "enlightened" to the "fact" that hybrids and EVs are right now the best option for everything. It's especially frustrating when that someone probably owns a bike, a prius, and commutes to a desk job and thinks they know better what's needed on a vehicle for construction, logging, farming, or that has to tow 10,000+ pounds better than the people who actually use the vehicles.

        If you talk to anyone that uses they types of vehicles they will tell you straight out they don't want anything to do with a hybrid in its current form. This is proven by the continued slow sales of hybrid full sized trucks. These same people who use the trucks would fall over eachother to buy the first 1/2 ton truck with a diesel that they could get their hands on. Its a fact. Probably the only reason the truck manufacturers haven't done this besides the emissions is that many of these people that currently buy $50,000 3/4 ton trucks just to get a diesel would instead buy $35,000-$40,000 1/2 ton trucks cutting into their profits. The reason I would imagine Dodge may be the first one to do it is that I don't believe they sell as many HD trucks as Ford or Chevy so they would probably be taking more sales from Ford and Chevy 1/2 trucks than they would lose in their own HD trucks. Once one manufacturer puts a diesel in a 1/2 the others will just on right away I'm sure though.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Very good response, without getting into a match of urinary accuracy, either... Thanks
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeah, but if you read the article below about the Fiat 500 EV, it tells you
      that they are scrapping the Ram hybrid and replacing it with a plug-in; else,
      they have to give us $48m back.
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