DTE Energy Joins Chrysler's Advanced Hybrid Project
The vehicles join a fleet of over 100 identical demonstrators delivered to 16 cities across the United States in the last six months. Set to total 140 plug-in hybrid pickup trucks, the vehicles are being used to collect data about usage, charging, thermal management and grid impact.
Trevor Lauer, DTE Energy vice president Marketing and Renewables, said: ‘The trucks will provide us with a glimpse of what kind of fuel savings cans be afforded with PHEV technologies so we can, at some point, make our truck fleet more environmentally friendly. We’ll be using the trucks at our service centers and in the field at our renewable energy facilities.’
The project is 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.
Cities included in the trial so far include San Francisco and Sacramento in California, Charlotte in North Carolina, Boston in Massachusetts and Albany in New York. The New York Police Department has also taken delivery of five Ram 1500 PHEV trucks.
Chrysler has said it plans to extend the trial further next year, including 25 plug-in hybrid versions of the Town & Country minivan.
Speaking at the handover, Abdullah Bazzi, senior manager of Chrysler’s advanced hybrid vehicle project explained: ‘Cities have been carefully selected to help the Chrysler Group LLC collect a wide range of data. Working with a local energy partner like DTE that is in our backyard offers a great combination of suburban and rural driving, as well as ever-changing Michigan weather, is ideal as a test cycle for these vehicles. The constant charging will allow us to measure the impact on battery life and charging efficiency.’