Chrysler and the U.S. Department of Energy have delivered the first 10 Ram 1500 plug-in hybrid electric pickup trucks to Yuma, Ariz. for testing in the region's extreme summer climate. Fittingly, they'll also be used to put the heat on criminals.
Eight of the experimental trucks will be modified and used as patrol vehicles by the Yuma Police Department, according to the YumaSun newspaper.
Jerry Geier, Yuma's police chief, said he's "really looking forward to the trucks ... getting them outfitted and out on patrol and putting them to use."
The trucks have several advantages over conventional police cars. Besides getting at least 32 miles per gallon in the city, after depleting its battery's charge, the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 and electric motors are rated at a combined 399 horsepower. The PHEV Rams can also generate 6.6 kilowatts of electricity to provide emergency power when needed, such as for spotlights at an accident.
The remaining two PHEV Rams will be used by Yuma's Utilities Department for customer service, such as water hookups, shutdowns and meter reading.