First Plug-In Hybrid Ram 1500 Pickups Enter Service Next Week

First Plug-In Hybrid Ram 1500 Pickups Enter Service Next Week

Chrysler and the U.S. Department of Energy are set to deliver the first 10 Ram 1500 plug-in hybrid electric pickup trucks to Yuma, Ariz., next week — the week of May 23 — to test in the region's extreme summer climate.

The plug-in Rams are part of a $100 million joint research project funded by Chrysler and the DOE. One-hundred-forty plug-in hybrid Rams will be placed around the country before the end of his year to demonstrate their usability and viability in real-world driving conditions and in temperatures ranging from minus 25 degrees to 125 degrees.

The powertratin uses a 345-horsepower, 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, a modified two-mode hybrid transmission (manufactured by GM) and a 12.9-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery.

For reference, you can picture the plug-in Ram as being similar to the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 two-mode hybrid, but with a much bigger battery pack, larger electric-driving operating ranges and the ability to recharge its batteries using the Hemi or 110-volt/220-volt power sources.

Phev-ram-3-560

The Ram plug-in is not a range-extended hybrid like the Chevy Volt, which uses a small gas engine primarily as a generator when the battery charge drops below a certain level.

Chrysler says the PHEV Ram has an equivalent all-electric range of more than 20 miles, and it overachieved its fuel economy target of 32 mpg after depleting the battery's charge. It can travel up to 655 miles with a full 26-gallon tank of gas. Towing capacity is rated up to 6,000 pounds, and payload is rated to 1,000 pounds.

The PHEV Ram program runs through June 2014. It will also demonstrate recharging the vehicles with customer input to obtain the most efficient charge rate, interfacing with power utilities via a so-called "smart-grid" and reverse power flow, where the trucks will act as generators to provide power back to the grid.

Phev-ram-2-560
Closeup of the PHEV Ram's recharging port.

[Sources: Chrysler, U.S. Department of Energy]

Comments

one question how many $

@Dan the Man: These are pilot trucks. They won't be for sale.

GMC is now partnered with Chrysler?
I wonder how much electricity a hemi powered hybrid can generate for the power grid?
Did the greens think of that one?
Replace coal fired plants with Hemi's. Funny.
I suspect these trucks will cost as much as the GMC truck hybrid.

The USA government buys over 50% of Ford and GM's hybrids.
Pay to build them, then pay to buy them.
Makes perfect sense to me.

The logical choice is to develope 32 mpg Cummins 4 bangers and other diesels as opposed to this.
The Cummins will tow more, last longer, will be more cost effective in the long run, and will work well in cold weather.
Don't tell the feds that. It makes too much sense.
How about funding Ford and GMC to release their shelved "baby" diesels?
I'd rather pay extra for a diesel than double the price for one of these.

It’s great to see progress in hybrid/EV technology for pickups. The company I work for is installing charging stations in our new office. Obviously these are pilot vehicles, however any future production versions (should they come to fruition) will be a great step in the right direction. Saving my pennies now.

@ Lou
The Cummins will tow more, last longer, will be more cost effective in the long run, and will work well in cold weather.

The Cummins is only as good as the truck that surrounds it
which has been Chrysler's biggest problem

Lot times , when there is post on hybrid/fuel cells or any alternative to gas , there will be more suggestions on building cost effective 4 bangers instead of them.

I agree people will say its effective when you have gas at say $5 , but what happens when gas moves to $6, $10 or $15 ? Gas is a limited quantity and whole world now uses it much more than before.

So you are left with no technology to build truck ? In a future perspective i think hybrids are the first step. and once we mature the battery, Electronics and motors ,it wont be a far day where we wont even care on gas prices.

Govt buying them is a good thing because, its Govt job to make sure people can keep the lifestyle in future also.

For reaching there Govt has to fund the R&D and R & D cant have 100% success, may be 10% success will be able even change the world.

unni,
That all sounds great, but who do you think is going to produce all of the electricity in the future. We are already at our maximum production, with skyrocketing rates adn brownouts today. We can't move off of gas and diesel, and also try to shutter our coal producing electricity plants at the same time. I'm all for new tech and using new forms to relieve SOME of our reliance though.

@unni - I agree that there needs to be investment in future technology, but building diesel engines that get 40 % or better fuel economy than current engines will give you 40% more time to develop alternatives to carbon fuels.
The future technology isn't battery powered cars that you recharge, but hydrogen fuel. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. Hydrogen Fuel cells and hydrogen internal combustion engines, or other hydrogen engine configurations are the future, not rechargeable batteries.

I have a better plan than all of this electric crap. Get Obama out of office ASAP. If we get Obama out of office, and a real engery policy, gas will go down to $1.50 again or much less. It was not too long ago that in December of 08 when Bush left office, gas averaged at $1.60 nationwide.

http://disruptthenarrative.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/obamagasprices.jpg

Ok here is some food for thought, There is no safe way to dispose of these monster batteries. I have a buddy that is in waste management. He just told me that the down side to all these "battery" cars is that while the tech is there to build them, the businesses that have to dispose of them has yet to find away to safely deal with them. Right now there are hundreds of thousands of these batteries just filling warehouses. Real green...

@Dave

Gasoline was also $4 a gallon in 2005 with Bush on board. Who's in the white house doesn't have an effect on the price of gasoline.

BMW, GM, and Chrysler jointly developed the 2 Mode transmission back years ago. This is what GM uses in it's hybrid trucks and SUV's. This iteration is simply an addition to the base 2 mode transmission setup.

All Presidents are to blame for neglecting America’s energy independence.

Bush's response to $4.00 gas was to lift the moratoriums on drilling. Critics say this was done too late. But at least he did lift the moratoriums and prices plummeted. What does Obama do when he first gets into office? He puts the moratoriums back on and prices skyrocket. How can Obama not have any blame when he said prices would necessarily skyrocket under his plan?

The price of gasoline depends primarily on the futures price of crude oil traded on world exchanges-which in turn is heavily dependent on perceptions of future crude oil supply vs. demand. With Obama's offshore moratoriam, cancelling lease sales, cancelling existing onshore federal leases & reclassifying public drilling-accessible land to wilderness status, Obama clearly is limiting future supply & adding to the current price of gasoline. I curse him every time I have to spend $130 to fill my truck – which means I curse them him a lot. He deserves to be gone in 2013.

The effect of Obama's Energy Policies on gas prices:

"Yes, the price of gasoline reached historic levels, rising above $4/gallon during Bush’s second term, but that wasn’t due to a lack of trying to increase domestic supply. U.S. domestic supply is but one factor in the global price of oil, and thus gas prices. But when a president purposefully chooses to decrease our domestic supply by 13%, with hopes of driving that supply even lower, and objects to U.S.-Canadian pipelines and new forms of exploration, discovery and friendly importation, the price consequences are real, and should be scrutinized."

This is the bottom line right here:
"Some on the right have criticized Obama for having no energy policy. This is wrong. Obama’s energy policy is working exactly the way it is designed. This administration knows that unless the price of fossil fuels skyrocket, expensive alternative energy sources, no matter how heavily subsidized, will continue to be unattractive to American consumers."

Red more here:
http://blog.heritage.org/2011/03/04/in-pictures-bush-vs-obama-on-gas-prices/

"Obviously, this risky desire to have high gas prices is a punitive policy that foolishly ignores how Americans use petroleum. While oil is largely a transportation fuel, solar and wind can only contribute to our electricity demands. Oil accounts for less than 1% of our electricity demand.

The liberal fascination with developing expensive vehicles that run on electricity doesn’t change that: 1) Solar or wind powered vehicles don’t commercially exist; 2) The cars that do run on electricity, or even battery-powered hybrids still require gas; and 3) the high cost of the alternatively fueled vehicles makes them largely insignificant in the auto market and cost-prohibitive to the average consumer.

Sure, it would be ideal to have a national fleet of cars that are inexpensive and run on cheap and widely available alternative sources of energy. But the markets have demonstrated this reality is nowhere close to fruition. And when you try to hasten that reality by artificially jacking up the price of gas, the economic effects are felt largely by the poorest among us and disincentives business owners from hiring as their fixed operating costs increase.

Think about it, who feels the pain of an extra $1 at the gas pump? The rich guys that the left demonizes or the middle-to-low income wage earners who balance their budgets by the penny, not the dollar? If the only cars available on the market were $40,000 Chevy Volts, would a Lexus or BMW consumer be hit hard, or would the family looking for a barely affordable mode of shuttling their family be affected? Consumer Reports said Obama’s heralded Volt “is an expensive way to be green.”


One more.

But if you only read, hear or see this week’s news reports, you would think that oil and gas prices were doing just fine until the historic events in Egypt, Libya and across the Middle East unfolded this past month and caused spikes in the futures market. Unfortunately, that is not the case. President Obama has been unilaterally taking steps to increase the cost of gasoline for two years. Here are ten things you need to know about gas prices that you may not hear reported elsewhere:

10 Things You Need to Know About High Gas Prices and Obama’s Oil Policy

http://blog.heritage.org/2011/02/23/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-high-gas-prices-and-obama%e2%80%99s-oil-policy/

More plugin pickups please ..... I own the domain pluginpickup.com and need my baby to appreciate more in value.

Yea, I don't want a "power the grid" option with any gas engine, let alone a hemi.

Pretty nice fuel economy. Wonder how much the batteries etc add to overall weight. I estimate the 12.9kwh Li-Ion battery alone is about 800lbs (newer 1.6kwhr Li-Ion are ~100lbs.)

And imagine if it had a fuel efficient engine in it! Wonder how long before we see diesel hybrids plug-ins.

Of course, the EV mode wouldn't be able to tow a load for long if at all.

After looking at Dodge payload specs for the quad cab 1500 2wd RAM and 1000lb payload is being very generous.

High fuel prices - we went from blaming the OPECers in the middle East to blaming the "O" pecker in government.

Yes! A step in the right direction, lets see what kind of real world input these trucks get.

@Dave

The reason gas was less expensive during the good old bush years was because bush and his policies destroyed the economy of the U.S. and then the world. This sent the demand for oil down along with the prices.

Now the "moratoriums" were put in place after a certain oil catastrophe in the gulf of mexico. Which bush is partly to blame for because his administration relaxed the safety procedures for offshore platforms.

Oil prices were acceptable until a few months ago when the middle east/north africa decided that they wanted to get rid 0f bush's old buddies the oil hungry dictators.

Enough with Politics. Let us bring the scope of the conversation back onto ev trucks good or bad. You folks with politics makes me miss Bob... kinda

If they can make this thing not cost an arm and a leg...plus another leg with a few extra fingers (e.g. Sierra/Silverado/Tahoe/Yukon hybrids), they might be able to sell a couple thousand a month.

Mike

Do you know if this is using the last gen HEMI?

345HP makes me think it is.

If this thing is about FE, why use the last gen? The new gen seems to be much more FE.

http://www.goodcleantech.com/2009/08/doe_funds_united_states_first.php
http://www.toxco.com/

For who ever implied that Lithium ion batteries can't be recycled, if you don't know something don't make up crap!

I am very satisfied with my 18.5 mpg my 3.92 axle,390 h.p Ram 1500 Q.C 4x4 gets !!!

Tell the government to open up oil drilling leases,this will in turn lower the cost at the pump ! But then again we have a government in place that said it wants to sky rocket electricity rates,bankrupt the coal industry,so we are stuck with high energy costs because alot of people love to be b.s'ed by the left wing socialists !!

@Dave- Exactly. He wants to raise energy prices in an attempt to drive down our usage/rush the research and development of alternative fuels. But finding an alternative fuel and developing an engine/car that is as easy to use, perfected, cheap, and widely available as gasoline engines and gas itself is a long way off. So instead we just have to suffer in the meantime. If they want to push us off gas onto something else, fine. But do it when we have something else to go to! Lets say tommorow they build an engine that can run on idk, say nitrogen. If they want to do what they can to jack up oil prices, ok. But do it after the technology for nitrogen engines has been perfected to the point it is as cheap as a gasoline engine, as reliable, and the infrastructure for it has been implemented.

Oh and so I am not chastised for posting off topic: Ram truck, nice. Electric-gas hybrids future of all truckdom. Me like. /sarcasm

Go away Dave you stupid troll. Go spew your crap on a teabagger site.

Come on Mike, this Bozo crosses the line.

lol @ teabaggers..... Why politics? The president does NOT control prices (I didn't blame "W" either when he was in).

Hey, it's the free market that everyone parrots right? Well, here it is. Greed came with it. Quit crying. Don't want to spend 120/ fill up, buy more fuel efficient car/CUV/Truck. They are out there, and don;t throw that "cannot tow with a prius" at me either, there are other options besides a prius that make a V6 F150 look like a gas hog.

Can anyone tell me how it exceeded its 32 mpg target and then gets 655 miles in 26 gallons, which is just over 25 mpg?

@ mskz06- Guess what I am talking about now not what is to be developed. That company is, let's say it together, developing away to deal with the lithium. So I am not making things up. As you implied. Maybe you should read your resources a little more next time.

@Rocky,
Fuzzy math? Obama's hybrid numbers just don't add up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAPvvCxMibc

Dave, your lies fool no one. Go away.

forget the v8 90% of people never tow max weight 50-70% will never never pull over 6,000 lbs. with the 1/2 tons that not even once

a new v6 would make the truck lighter plus add in the hybrid power train would make it heaver basically making weight the same.

give the batteries a 10-12 mile range so that the batteries cost $5-6,000 instead of $10,000-12,000

for the v6 hybrid a 5,000 towing and 1,500 payload

hybrid v6 mode would get 24-26mpg and when plugin over 30+mpg (ford v6 get 23mpg and 300hp)

compared to the Chevy 21-23 v8 the dodge is going to be about the same but a v6 could gain 2-3mpg easily

Tom,
If it gets 30+ mpg via plugin but for only 10 miles, what good is that?

Give me a 2014 Ford or GM non-hybrid that will get 25+ mpg and is tons cheaper!

@Dave, Exactly. Let's say you only need to go 10-12 miles. You'll be driving on battery power alone and saving money on gas, but ectricity isn't free. And if you only have a short commute, you won't be paying much for gas away. It is intersting technology but with the expensive price it won't make much financial sense for most drivers. Look for the next gen EcoBoost from Ford and new motors from GM to be the better answer.

From a land where it is US $6 a gallon, diesel is a much more cost effective solution. I know "Grey Nomads" who use biodiesel from restaurants to power their rigs. One couple nearly "Lapped Australia" using biodiesel. Modern diesel engines are pretty impressive and they are getting better all the time.
Hybrids require expensive and bulky battery packs, that are a problem when they need to be disposed of.

Dave don't let the people in glass houses with there pockets full of stones bother you, the only thing I can question is the comment on the Ram trucks, I have owned three in 21yrs. have had nothing but good luck, I will admit the 1st one was a little crewd, (slant six 3sp torqflite), but I did sell it to my brother, to do landscape work with it, and then he gave it to his son, who handed it down to his younger brother, by the time it died, it had 297,000 !!, on the original motor!!!!. So I don't know what you are talkin about with Dodge trucks, but what you say about this administration, is spot on. We need to drill so the economy keeps on truckin WHILE they develope new tecnologies. So we can still drive to survive. Not that we are realy doing anything to warm the planet, hell where the ice has melted, a lot, there are pristine settlements where the Vikings went to hunt in the summer, caves and man made dwellings, they don't fool me! there have been ice ages and hot acrid times all troughout history BEFORE MAN!! But that don't work for there agenda, and you can blame the public schools for that, they teach all that nonsence, and when you go to the market the kid can't figure out your change without the register to do it for them, but, oh no, they know how to re-cycle and how MAN is the cause of global warming? JUNK SCIENCE IDIOT POLITICIANS!!!!!

Obama has given the "drill baby drill" people everything they could ask for.

Here's the plan:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/blueprint_secure_energy_future.pdf
The administration about a lot more than just drilling in the report, and it starts out by acknowledging Peak Oil on page 2. However, most of the report covers expanded drilling for oil and natural gas. In short, it gives you guys everything you could possibly want -- while carefully acknowledging that the whole situation is bounded by the amount of oil that is actually in the ground.

And, if you've been following the actual news, he's followed through over the last couple of months. He's even announced the opening ANWR:
http://www.npr.org/2011/05/14/136308955/obama-announces-steps-to-boost-u-s-oil-output

Obama's not nearly as much of a lefty as I'd hoped. I really don't see what you guys are complaining about, unless you want to talk about social issues. But, on energy issues, Obama's given all y'all everything you could possibly ask for.

Talk is cheap. He said the same crap last year and now is just to get relelected. Announcing drilling and actually doing it are two different things. He'll say he wants more drilling now. Then a couple months later after the election he'll say that he looked at it and wasn't able to do it. Then EPA will just block any new drilling. The devil is in the details with this guy.

Also included in this “plan”, is the elimination of tax write offs that all other corporations still get, additional fines and penalties if the Oil Companies don't drill the leases they have bought and paid for in a limited time frame, as well as additional fees and increased tax rates added to what they already pay.

The Oil Companies will simply not drill marginal wells (which is most of them) and they will go over seas where they are welcome and not persecuted by rogue governments.

This will increase the price at the pump by large margins, which will probably prompt Obama and his Flying Monkeys to make the “Painful” decision to Nationalize the Oil/Gas Industry. They are already pretty much there as it is.


@Obama Rocks - This is meaningless. Making these statements today about more drilling lets Obama make empty claims that he’s providing leadership on the energy issue. His agencies, at his direction, will ensure nothing substantial happens.


Obama isn't thinking this threw clearly. When he ensures the price' of gas to go up...He insures the price of EVERYTHING to go up. His excuse is of course, to help further push us into alternative fuels. But the plain simple fact is that we DON'T have any viable alternative fuels right now and we won't for quite some time...That's just a fact all the greenies are going to have to face rather they like it or not. Gas/Diesel is here to stay for quite some time. So by jacking gas prices up ''which Obama is guilty of doing or at least contributing to'' he's not doing anything but hurting the working class people. As I am sure you already know...When the price of gas skyrockets...So does the price of EVERYTHING else, Food/Utilities/Goods/Electronics...etc...etc...Virtually everything we use on a daily basis gets more expensive the more gas cost. So not only is costing people who own trucks 150$ to fill up and even people who own Prius's and civics and things of that nature 50$ 60$ and 70$ to fill up...Its costing these same people extra just feed their families and heat their homes! Obama is so hell bent on pushing for ''alternative fuels'' that he is willing to screw many people over just to further fund research into them.

Now I tend to agree with Lou on this subject as he stated earlier in the comments...I think Hydrogen is the fuel of the future, both in Internal Combustion Engine form and in Hydrogen Fuel Cell Forum. And how great it would be if Hydrogen could come into the market full swing tomorrow morning and by the end of the year we could be 90% weaned off of crude oil by the end of the year...BUT its not going to happen that way...The plain simple fact is that we have many many years to go before we can comfortable move to hydrogen or any other fuel for that matter. In the mean time anyone who advocates ''higher gas prices'' are just killing the working class people.

Here's a few links to back up what I am saying so you don't accuse me of making up bull$hit to make the president look bad.

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/03/02/6172480-barbour-claims-obama-admin-wants-gas-prices-to-go-up

http://thegrimcreeper.newsvine.com/_news/2011/03/08/6214553-obama-wants-higher-gas-prices

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_030411/content/01125108.guest.html

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=42136

Right On obamasucks and GMBob!!! the lefties won't quit until we are all calling each other comrad!!! when all they are realy ever or will ever be good at is disk jockies!! they will say anything to get elected, and have no moral compass, in other words, they are full, of, s__t. This great country of ours has been hyjacked by the intelect manority, they will promise the world, to stay in power! and do nothing for anyone but themselves, and to even think, he went overseas, and bowed, down, to, some, dictator, towelhead!! or some other socialist, he doesn't speak for real Americans, very few of them has even served, an they never pass up judgement on our heroes in the services of our country. They all are revisionist when it comes to history, just to suit there ideas, and hve turned the schools around, taken prayer out of the schools, send there own children to private schools, and, do, there, best, from letting people of little means, to do the same, without vouchers, to get back some of our tax $$$ and all that realy does is save the schools $, and save $ at private schools.

Dedle leet dedle leet dedle leet: up date, on the Ecco-Boost pick up. Went out on the road with the Airstream, finnaly, and to my amazment 17MPG average on the trip up north in N.H., computer in the instruments said anywhere from 10mgp truckin up the hyw passes, like the Kangamancus Hyw., all the power I could ever want! never had to floor it! even up the biggest hills. On level roads, the info said 22mpg, that is with the cruise set at 65mph, no need to go any faster! On the cat scale 15,010lbs.! CGW full tank two pass. one Harley in the bed, and lots of stuff in the trailer. This truck is great, I will take it whenever it is just the wife an I, or ?, but when more people, I'll have to take the Chevy, that gets 12mpg towing the Airstream at no more than 14,000 CGW!, average, on the level road it does get 16mpg, but with the 5.3 there is no comparison to the Ecco-Boost, sorry to say, oh well I shoulda got the 6.2?

Mike,

I have been an avid reader on your site since long before Cars.com purchased it from you (2005 or 2006 timeframe). Although I have never commented on an article I do enjoy reading your write-ups and appreciate the exacting detail you go through with the trucks and making sure you get the best info possible. No one else goes to this extent.

While I have a love of trucks and what they have provided us all I am honestly thinking of not visiting your site again. I am really getting sick and tired of all the vitriolic comments from the big 5 or so loudmouths who constantly bash each other and/or spew lies about politics, government, economic matter, etc. This was setup to be a site for truck enthusiasts not political talking heads, shade tree economics or my religion vs. your religion.

I am sure that this kind of controversy can increase traffic to your site and I am empathetic to this but you need to gain some control over the comments and stop the spam on the first post by these individuals. I sort of expect to see one or two comments from someone but it needs to stop after that. These offenders need to be suspended or comments deleted from the boards. I know you have threatened this before but it never seems to happen.

Please don't leave your long term, loyal readers like me out in the cold. I really want to stay with you and your site but I can't stand the bickering, chest pounding and lying that goes on in the comments anymore.


Truly,

Matt

do you thing gm new pickup hybrid be the new standard ....

@mhowarth: Matt - Thanks much for reading PUTC. I certainly appreciate it and where you're coming from. I'll be keeping a closer eye on the comments. I'm trying to walk a fine line here but I agree that the bashing and hate has gone too far these past few weeks.

sandman4X4-

That is awesome! I am going to have that on the back of my mind now, like this weekend coming up, when I am towing my 5,000 pound travel trailer with my; Dodge Ram 2500 Power Wagon (5.7L HEMI Magnum & 4.56:1 gears)...all the while getting about 8-1/2 m.p.g. :-(

Keep on American trucking!

This appears to be the old "dinosaur" 5.7 Hemi, like GM using an older version of the 6.0. I'll bet this baby has a great seat of the pants feel with the 70-100 ft-lbs of added low end torque.

Briefly on the geopolitical side, I would refer everyone to Pastor Lindsey Williams, there are many of his interviews on utube. He is an expert on oil policy and has "elite" friends, who are former high-ups with the Big Oil companies.

In summary, the skyrocketing costs are manipulated thru speculation, Mid East unrest etc. It is a plan to bring the price to $150-$200 a barrel and then open up the massive domestic reserves. This cuts out the Arabs and obviously creates massive profits for Big Oil. Also, Peak Oil is b.s., as many massive reserves (Gull Island etc) were found in the late '70s and were capped, in preparation for these prices. Its certainly worth researching and listening what Pastor Williams has to say.

mopar you forgot the $$$ that makes it more profitable, for the government by way of TAXES!! that is the single most % of price point anywhere, except for some oil producing dictatorships or marnarkies



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