Chrysler's truck division, Ram, has prepared a batch of special plug-in hybrid trucks for U.S. government testing that will enter service next week.Just a little over a year ago Leftlane reported that Chrysler had pulled the plug on its Ram Hybrid, while securing a $48 million cash infusion from the U.S. Department of Energy at the same time in order to develop a plug-in hybrid variant instead.
Fast forward to today and Chrysler's now separated Ram division is set to deliver its first batch of plug-in hybrid Ram 1500 trucks to the DoE next week, according to Pickuptrucks.com. These special non-production-bound trucks will first be heading to the dry deserts of Yuma, Arizona, near the California border - a popular test ground for automakers.
These unique trucks are powered by a combination of a plug-in hybrid mode that allows for up to 20 miles of purely electric drive, followed by a two-mode hybrid system that was actually developed by General Motors. The gas engine is a standard 5.7-liter Hemi V8, which is aided by a 12.9-kWh lithium-ion battery.
The first batch of trucks will mark the start of an eventual 140 truck fleet that will be spread across the U.S. in order to test the trucks in varying environments and climates. Testing will continue for three years before finally ending with a product that will potentially hold consumer interest and viability beyond the 2014 project completion date.
For now, the Ram 1500 plug-in hybrid prototype has no official production future.
1.'First plug-in hybrid...' view