More PHEV Ram Trucks on City Roadways, Testing Hybrid Technology
October 5, 2011
Why would an automaker make a truck it really has no plans to mass produce?
To get to the future.
As part of Chrysler Group's three-year demonstration program, the City of Auburn Hills, Mich., received four Ram 1500 Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles that it will use for various city services. Chrysler will review and evaluate the data received from the vehicle technology and driver feedback to determine future development. As of now, there are no plans to put these trucks into full production. We're just using them to evaluate the technology in real-world use.
On Monday, Chrysler Group formally delivered four Plug-in Hyrbrid Electric Vehicle Ram 1500 pickups to our hometown of Auburn Hills, Mich. The latest delivery of PHEV Ram 1500s is the seventh American city to receive the demonstration trucks, as part of a three-year program. Other cities currently with PHEV Ram trucks are Yuma, Ariz., San Francisco, Sacramento, Calif., Charlotte, N.C., Boston and Albany, N.Y.
Above is one of the four PHEV Ram 1500 trucks being used by the City of Auburn Hills, Mich., as part of a three-year demonstration program with Chrysler Group. Below is a PHEV Ram 1500 charging meter/station.
In all, about a dozen communities in varying climates and geographies will receive 140 PHEV Ram 1500 pickups.
Chrysler Group is receiving data almost instantaneously from vehicles in the demonstration cities. We're using the data to help determine "which [vehicle] technology has the proper application, and customers' acceptance to it. It will enable us to know which markets to go after," said Senior Manager of the Advanced Hybrid Vehicle project Abdullah Bazzi.
So, while Chrysler Group may not be seen as particularly "green" with its current lineup, that definitely will be changing in the near future.
For Auburn Hills, two trucks will be used by the department of public services, one will be used by the building services director, and one will be used by the director of economic development for his travels.
The PHEV Ram 1500 includes a liquid-cooled 12.9kWhr lithium ion battery pack and a 6.6 kilowatt (kW) on-board charger.
The PHEV Ram battery also acts as a rolling generator with AC power generation of up to 6.6kW, directional charging, reverse power flow and full regenerative braking used to capture more energy. For on-the-job electrical power tools, a 240 volt/30 amp four-prong outlet and 120volt/20amp duplex outlet power strip is located in the rear box. On a full charge, it can even power a house for up to two hours.
The powertrain also includes a 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engine and a two-mode hybrid transmission. The 5.7-liter HEMI is equipped with a Fuel Saver technology that improves fuel efficiency at highway speeds by shutting down fuel delivery to up to four cylinders.
But wait...there's more. Later this year, Chrysler Group expects to roll out a similar fleet of 25 Chrysler Town & Country minivans that also use plug-in hybrid technology.
For more on the PHEV Ram 1500 program, see the video below. You also can click to Flickr for photography from the PHEV Ram 1500-City of Auburn Hills announcement.