Battery manufacturer Electrovaya has begun shipping lithium ion battery packs to Chrysler for its test fleet of plug-in hybrid Ram pickup trucks. Chrysler is building 140 trucks based on the two-mode hybrid system that was co-developed with General Motors. A non-plug version of the hybrid Ram was due to go into production this fall, but Chrysler canceled the program in March citing slow sales of other similar vehicles (that would be the Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra hybrids).

The plug-in version replaces the nickel-metal hydride battery in the two-mode system with an Electrovaya unit and updated controls. The trucks are part of a three-year test program funded by a $48 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The truck program is Electrovaya's first involvement with Chrysler which has been using batteries from A123 Systems for its previous electric vehicle development under the defunct ENVI division. ENVI has now been consolidated into the main powertrain engineering group where an electric version of the Fiat 500 is under development in addition to the Ram PHEV. The Fiat is currently using the A123 batteries and other electric drive hardware that was in the Dodge Circuit prototype.

[Source: Earth2Tech]


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