On August 2, Chrysler handed over the keys to 14 plug-in hybrid Dodge Ram 1500 to the city of San Francisco as part of a three-year evaluation program. Fourteen also went to Sacramento. The cities will evaluate the vehicles by driving them and regularly reporting all driving and charging experiences with the loaned demonstration vehicles to Chrysler.
Dodge Ram Phev
For the past year or so, battery manufacturer Electrovaya has been working with Chrysler on a prototype plug-in hybrid Ram pickup truck. The prototype uses Electrovaya's 12-kWh lithium ion "SuperPolymer" battery system that provides enough energy to move the truck for 20 miles on battery power. If everything goes according to schedule, Chrysler will start delivering the first plug-in Ram trucks to fleets this summer.
The development of the plug-in hybrid Dodge Ram has flown under the radar lately, but we've managed to uncover an update or two within the past year. Dodge's secretive nature regarding the PHEV Ram has left us wishing for more details, but we'll have to make do with what we can get for now... and it at least shows that the PHEV Ram is still progressing along.
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).
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.
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