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.


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.

Closeup of the PHEV Ram's recharging port.

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


Wow, these dodge ram 1500's make my 1997 dodge 1500 Ram look like just a truck.But I love it I have had it for almost 11 years.

By adamantly refusing to do anything to improve energy conservation in America, or to phase in a $1-a-gallon gasoline tax on American drivers, or to demand increased mileage from Detroit's automakers, or to develop a crash program for renewable sources of energy, the Bush team is - as others have noted - financing both sides of the war on terrorism. We are financing the U.S. armed forces with our tax dollars, and, through our profligate use of energy, we are generating huge windfall profits for Saudi Arabia, Iran and Sudan, where the cash is used to insulate the regimes from any pressure to open up their economies, liberate their women or modernize their schools, and where it ends up instead financing madrassas, mosques and militants fundamentally opposed to the progressive, pluralistic agenda America is trying to promote. Now how smart is that?

But no, President Bush has a better project: borrowing another trillion dollars, which will make us that much more dependent on countries like China and Saudi Arabia that hold our debt - so that you might, if you do everything right and live long enough, get a few more bucks out of your Social Security account.

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