Auburn Hills, Michigan – Chrysler is providing 140 plug-in hybrid electric Ram pickup trucks to selected cities and states as part of a demonstration project. Up to 6.5 million miles (10.4 million kilometres) will be accumulated on the demonstration vehicles over the next three years.

The automaker is working in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy on the plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). The first Ram PHEVs were delivered to municipal officials in Yuma, Arizona.

Chrysler said that the project is strictly a demonstration program and that there are no plans for a production Ram PHEV at this time.

The trucks will be used over three years to evaluate customer usage, drive cycles, charging, thermal management, fuel economy, emissions, and impact on the region’s electric grid.

Twelve partners will receive vehicles, selected to evaluate temperature extremes, urban traffic cycles and diverse climates and geographies. The areas will include North Dakota, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Arizona, California, Texas and Missouri.

The Ram 1500 PHEV uses a 5.7-litre Hemi V8 engine with liquid-cooled lithium ion battery pack and onboard charger. The battery pack is located under the second-row seat. For electrical power tools on the job, 120- and 240-volt outlets are located in the rear box.

The Ram 1500 was chosen based on two-speed transmission technology that was available from a previous vehicle electrification project from the Chrysler Group.

Funding for the project includes US$49.4 million from Chrysler and $48 million from the Department of Energy through the government’s Transportation Electrification Initiative.

Chrysler is also developing a similar fleet of 25 Town & Country minivans for demonstration and evaluation. The vans will be allocated to select cities later this year.

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