Chrysler’s Ram Truck brand is dispatching a fleet of one hundred forty plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) in selected cities around America as test vehicles to evaluate thermal management, charging performance, fuel economy and real-world performance.
Looks like Chrysler is pretty serious about becoming the first company that fully functional hybrid pickup trucks. They’ve even signed a partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for this.
The Ram 1500 PHEV includes a liquid-cooled 12.9kWhr lithium ion battery pack and a 6.6 kilowatt (kW) on-board charger. Additional features include AC power generation of up to 6.6kW; directional charging; reverse power flow and full regenerative braking used to capture more energy. For fuel economy improvements, the front axle can be disconnected when not needed. The powertrain also includes a 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engine and a two-mode hybrid transmission that needs proper maintenance every few months, if not then the owner will have to get a transmission repair to keep the truck from breaking down. The 5.7-liter HEMI is equipped with a Multiple Displacement System (MDS) that improves fuel efficiency at highway speeds by shutting down fuel delivery to up to four cylinders.
The Chrysler Group also is developing a similar fleet of 25 Town & Country minivans with plug-in hybrid technology for demonstration and evaluation that will be allocated to select cities later this year.