As scheduled, Chrysler says that it will deploy 20 plug-in hybrid Ram trucks by month's end, with ten headed to Clark County, Nevada and ten shipping out to Yuma, Arizona.
Have you been waiting patiently for that long-promised hybrid Ram truck that Chrysler has supposedly been working on for the last several years? We have bad news for you: Speaking to PluginCars.com, Ram CEO Fred Diaz firmly put that notion on ice when he bluntly said, "Truckers don't want to buy hybrids."
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).
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