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).
If a production schedule posted at Allpar is to be believed, Chrysler will kick off production of the new Ram 1500 hybrid on November 16, 2010. The Ram hybrid inherits the same 5.7-liter Hemi V8, two-mode hybrid powertrain that was in the short-lived Dodge Durango/Chrysler Aspen hybrids in 2008. The two-mode hybrid transmission is supplied to Chrysler by General Motors and is the same unit (aside from the mounting face of the case) used in GM's full-size trucks. We expect the Ram hybrid will get
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.
The big joint development program formed several years ago between General Motors, Daimler, Chrysler and BMW to develop the two-mode hybrid system for light duty vehicles is over. With all four automakers now having launched or about to introduce versions of the hybrid system, the joint program is being wound down and the Troy, Michigan office where engineers from each company collaborated will be closed by the end of this year. Most of the joint work actually ended last June and many of the sta
It looks like the Dodge Ram Hybrid is on target to be released as a 2010 model, as this series of spy shots proves. Expect a version of the 2-Mode hybrid powertrain Chrysler co-developed with BMW, Mercedes-Benz and General Motors. In the case of the Ram, a 5.7L HEMI V8 engine with cylinder deactivation will be hooked to the sophisticated automatic transmission that features twin 60 kW electric motors. A similar setup is used by General Motors for its Chevy Silverado Hybrid and GMC Sierra Hybrid,
A pair of planned, more fuel efficient versions of the Dodge Ram pickup apparently remain as on-track as any program can be said to be in the current Chrysler situation. Our buddy Mike Levine at PickupTrucks.com spoke with Chrysler product development VP Frank Klegon about what's coming for the Ram. In spite of similar programs being canceled or delayed at Toyota, Ford and General Motors, Chrysler is moving ahead with its light duty diesel program. A Cummins diesel expected to displace 5.0L with
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