Chrysler Group Continues Three-Year PHEV Trial
There are no plans for a production-ready version as yet, but the three-year trial is aimed at examining vehicle usage, including drive cycles, charging habits, reaction to hot and cold temperatures, fuel economy, emissions and impact on the grid.
Funded by a £29.4m ($48m) grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, through the Department of Energy’s Transport Electrification Initiative, Chrysler Group invested a further £30.3m ($49.4m) in the project. It aims to develop cost-effective, safe, recharge-free mobility, while reducing the dependence on imported oil.
Yuma, Arizona received 10 of the hybrid pick-ups earlier this year, chosen to test for issues related to hot weather. Ten additional partners due to receive vehicles include the military, who will live test a reverse power flow to feed electricity back into the grid. Chrysler picked partners to demonstrate the technology across a diverse range of climates, geographies and traffic conditions as a thorough test of its 140-strong fleet.
Delivering the vehicles, Abdullah Bazzi, senior manager of Chrysler’s advanced hybrid vehicle project, said: ‘Cities have been carefully selected to help the Chrysler Group LLC collect a wide range of data.
‘Both San Francisco and Sacramento offer heavy traffic and urban driving that are ideal city test cycles. The constant charging will allow us to measure the impact on battery life and charging efficiency.’
The Ram 1500 PHEV is powered by a 5.7-litre HEMI V8, which can shut down four of its eight cylinders and disconnect its front axle to reduce fuel consumption. A liquid-cooled lithium ion battery pack is housed under the second row of seats in the cab, providing power for its electric motor and external powertools via a four-prong outlet on the back of the bed.
As part of the trial, Chrysler will also supply 25 of its Town and Country Minivans with a Plug-In Hybrid powertrain, starting later this year.