Plug-In Rams Will Protect and Serve as Police Patrol Trucks

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

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.

[Source: YumaSun]


Pretty nifty idea!

Pickups and suv's are not the best cruisers!

A high profile vehicle like a pickup and suv will not be good to responding to a situation because they will spin rear tires as they loose traction if not loose control and crash...

You need to build them like desert off-road vehicles (in a way) so they can handle high speed cornering in any road conditions and have nice bumpers to smash things out of the way...

I have many years of running my pickup on road courses and if I did not have it setup to hug the ground, I would not be able to maintain high speeds on the road courses during cornering.

Pickups and suv's are too dangerous to be squad vehicles.

@oxi ever been to Yuma? it's some road, some 'city', but a lot of desert. Yuma police don't always get the luxury of keeping the chase on the road, and I have a feeling these Ram's will do better than a charger or crown vic. Plus with the illegal immigration issue they face, it's not uncommon for them to track out into brush and less than favorable conditions.

They need a taser that will run off the hybrid battery pack.


Back in the day they used Dodge/Plymouth police cars with high powered 440's,they would break the tires loose when flooring it at 25 mph on d a dry level road,those cars were very powerful and topped out at 149 mph ! The recorded 0-60 and 1/4 mile times were off on those cars because you floored it they spun,let the gas off to 25 mph they spun again,then past 30 mph they would get traction but then you missed the 1 st gear power band,thus recorded lower times...

Now ,step into todays world,they use Hemi powered Charger's and they also break the tires loose,but they have traction control so that helps control the car better,plus even with it off they dont burn rubber as much as a pre 1971 440 Mopar..

Even the SLOW Crown Victoria's break the tires loose when wet,around corners if dusty ect..they dont have traction control,so how would a Ram be worse than a Ford ?

They have traction control and stability control on the new Dodge Ram's..

Plus the better vision you have in a truck is better for the officer,plus being a truck it is stronger than a car,so if you have to pit a car or another truck it will do so with less damage.

Furthermore,my Ram hugs the corners better than many sports cars,and if you know how to drive you can ensure it doesnt break the tires loose,and by the way I have seen some officers drive,they can control a truck ! They drive alot and they usually beat on the vehicles so they know its limits.

Good application. Cop vehicles sit idle much of time with a/c and accessories running. Hopefully they can show a cost savings that warrant an investment.

I would like to see this Ram at high speed make a 90 degree turn responding to a situation...

Most roads are not banked or have nice smooth curves, in fact they come together at 90 degrees!

A light rear-end pickup will break traction, most likely lose control or waste precious power to maintain traction REGARDLESS of traction control devices.

Response time would be horrendous compared to a lower vehicle...

I also did say build it like a desert race-type truck with a wider front trac for stability, nose up higher, more wheel travel for those off-road chases and some REAL bumpers to push things aside...

Have you ever seen some of those short course trucks? Maintain some stock-ish ground clearance numbers and build them to take corners agressive on the street.

Take one of these Ram's on a road course and a Prius will have better lap times.

"plus being a truck it is stronger than a car,so if you have to pit a car or another truck it will do so with less damage.

Furthermore,my Ram hugs the corners better than many sports cars,and if you know how to drive you can ensure it doesnt break the tires loose,and by the way I have seen some officers drive,they can control a truck ! They drive alot and they usually beat on the vehicles so they know its limits."

A few points:

Stronger? Most cars have perfect 5-star crash ratings and suburb crumple zones, most pickups do not! Plus all that extra weight means worse braking and handling numbers and when you roll it because of lose of traction, now that extra weight is your enemy and could crush you to death!

Your Ram does not hug coners better than sports cars either! I have been with SCCA for over 5 years, I can honestly say, no way! Take it to your local SCCA club and enter it on a local parking-lot course and see what happens to your Ram. Same onto a local road course!

When that little 4-cylinder car whips around you in the corners you will not have a chance!

Cops may drive their squads much but that does not mean squat or they know how to drive properly. I have yet to see a peace officer enter an SCCA event with their personal ride. They getv training at a tech school and that's about it.

With SCCA you will have more experiance driving than most officers get in their careers. No bull there either.


A Ram police cruiser, although it is no Caprice, Charger or Crown Victoria, can still be a competent performer with a skilled driver behind the wheel. Check out this You Tube video of a 2009 Ram 1500 vs. a B.M.W.:

Here is a real world example of pickups being battle tested on a 1/3 mile Nascar track set up with cones for a time attack:

One guy had a Ford SVT Lightening supercharged V8 rear-drive and I had my V6 powered Tacoma X-Runner rear-drive.

I beat him on raw time during an event. Ofcourse he was in a different class being supercharged but raw time is raw time.

Why did I beat him on the course?

Simple physics! I had a slightly longer wheelbase, I was much lower to the ground, I was 6-speed manual vs his handicap auto and I had less weight.

Where he would kick my butt in the straight sections and off the line, I made it up and then some braking and cornering.

Simple physics, taller vehicles do not corner well and the heavier they are, the worse their braking!

Unless they dramatically alter the rear suspension of that Ram, I would not fear it as a squad much! All you have to do is take the first 90 degree turn on the street and watch that Ram either lose control going to fast or have to brake hard to make the turn and then re-accelerate to get back up to speed until the next corner, etc...

Radio would be its savior!

You should have known that there is only ONE truck that can corner like a sports car (see post #2).

I would think the extreme heat testing would not be as demanding on these vehicles as extreme cold testing would. Nevertheless, I hope these trucks perform great for Yuma's law enforcement and utilities.

@Buy American or say Bye to America!

Looks like the BMW mis-shifted buddy! Can you not see that in the final drag to the finish?

Again it's the idiot behind the wheel, we have many BMW drivers in my SCCA region that would run circles around that Ram!

Too bad I sold my SCCA pickup, I would have loved to go against that Ram...

@Buy American or say Bye to America!

Also in that video you can see the Ram losing traction on the 2nd round on the skid pad and the BMW driver fighting something twice like mis-shifting or deliberatly slowing down for the Ram to catch up...

Not a good video, needs to be from an actual SCCA event to be more credible.

How about a couple of Raptors like border patrol is getting? Now thats a truck set to handle any situation!

Love this Ram! What is with the Toyota talk.

It's getting old, you know who you are!!!!!!

oxi - you were up too late watching re-runs of Cops and Bad Boys.
We are talking real world not TV land of orchestrated chases.

The rules of engagement when it comes to any emergency response have been tightened up considerably due to the courts and their brain dead rulings. This is an unfortunate north American wide phenomenon.(MacDonald's crotch coffee syndrome gone wild)
If the operator of an emergency vehicle is in an MVC whether or not they are to blame, usually the civilian will be awarded a cash settlement by the courts. That would be civil court as opposed to criminal courts.
1. The courts feel that the operator of the Emergency Vehicle is held to a "higher standard" than a driver of a civilian vehicle, and
2. the courts are now looking at the rationale for the Emergency Response. They've taken it so far as to look at, for example "dispatched Code 3 for a heart attack and if the crew gets there and it is indigestion - the lights and sirens response was unwarranted. If you get in a crash on the way, your ass is grass.
Because of these rulings there was a brief time where the bottom feeders of society were aware of this and were targeting emergency vehicles for crashes and subsequent law suites.

There have been many high profile high speed chases that have gone wrong. I bet everyone on this site could post an example. There was one locally where a meth head gangster stole a truck. It started out in a high speed chase and the scumbag used it as an opportunity to turn it into an expensive game of bumper cars. They called off the chase and ended up getting him anyway. You can out run the PC but not Motorolla.
Police want reliability and comfort for their members 1st and foremost. The high speed performance capacities you discribe are well beyond the rules of engagement allowed by most police forces.
I see many large and mid sized SUV's, and pickups as police vehicles. I do live in a more rural area so they are neccessary tools of the job.

The Prius hybrid went on sale in 1997 in Japan. making it the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle. Thank you Toyota!

The Model T went on sale in 1908 in the United States of America, making it the first mass-produced vehicle in the world.
Thank you Ford!


Stop being such an Toyotaphile. Keep it in Toyota posts. Nobody needs you going into every single post and boasting how your Tacoma is the best truck ever made. It's not. It has quite a few flaws. No car is perfect, and we really don't need your BS as to why it is.

I know for a fact that the Tacoma has a pretty cheap interior- standard Toyota affair. You want to know why? Because I happen to own one. And as a Tacoma owner I am annoyed that you have to go into every post and complain how trucks are too big or they pretty much useless like in posts like these. It's quite annoying. Stop being such a whine.

And another thing, police Tahoes and Expeditions are used all the time. They work just fine. I don't see how this is any different.

We have to stop with the toyota talk on this thread because if we don't we are asking for a bashing.

By hauling the extra weight of the batteries in the rear of the cab it probably balances the truck quite a bit. I'll bet it handles better than a regular crew cab.

Thanks ed!

I noticed this truck has a Rambox. Does it come with the optional gun holders?
I bet they can store a ton of donuts and coffee cups in there. LOL ;)

The Border Patrol Agents could also benefit for this technology since they use alot of fullsize trucks and suv's:

and jeeps too:

@Mike Levine: Do you think you would ever do a story about Border Patrol trucks and how they are used, what they are put threw, and what brand of trucks make up a majority of the fleet, etc. And a few rail buggies too!!!


You are wrong. I am a County Deputy and I would love to have this truck. My Vic is dog slow; it might be able to out handle my truck, but it certainly can't out accelerate it. That is where most of the ground is lost in car chases, accelerating out of corners.


This is something you should inquire with your Local PD.

Wow, shut up! Yup, you are a Deputy.

@x007 - here is a link for you.

Top Gear USA did a test with the Raptor( VelociRaptor) and ran it on their track. It was 10 seconds slower than the Lancer Evolutiion which is a fast car. Not bad for a lifted truck with 35 inch tires.

If police forces wanted outright performance the new Taurus based Interceptor with the EB 3.5 and all wheel drive is the car to get. It is faster on the track than the 5.7 Charger, and new Caprice 6.0 from Chevy.

This article is about the RAM.. but once again the troll comes out of his cave and thinks it is about him. Your comments to this article and the fact that you have to bring up Toyota every freaking time is ridiculous.

BAN the TROLL Oxi!!!

Ram is my favorite truck I would love this if they put in mass production but I have a questions does it still have the 5 speed?

Frank, we are our local PD. The county I work in has no PDs. We take care of the whole county, cities included.


Have you driven the Taurus Police Interceptor?

The Border Patrol almost exclusively uses suvs and pickups and they drive both dirt and paved roadways without issue.


10 seconds is huge on a road course!

Your talking tens of thousands dollars of mods to make up 10 seconds in road racing speak....

With that said the Evo will get faster with mods at a faster rate while the Raptor would get faster much slower...

Banks had a road racing GMC diesel, now that is a road racing pickup!

If you really want to compare an Evo and Raptor, first try the slower parking lot auto-x. Most cruisers in their responses will end up similiar to what a typical 60-70 second autocross course would be with tight turns, etc...


This office is moving to the Charger. We won't buy a Taraus until 2016 or so, to make sure they are solid vehicles.

<<<< wonders how some people's post would have differed had it been about say.... Toyota giving tacoma's to the Yuma county? I kinda envy you oxi. I have owned many trucks, crotch rockets, high performance and utility ATV's ec. and I have never been so totally convinced that any of them were the best that existed. (I even had a 4 runner once) Some of these vehicles were highly modified, but I always seemed to see someone with something that was better. (Then accept that mine wasn't the best around) and then my life would continue as usual. As opposed to, for instance trying to prove to everyone, myself included, mine was still the greatest. It takes unbelievable loyalty and dedication to believe in your chosen brand in the way you do.

@oxi, you know nothing about police work and with your lack knowledge of trucks you'd probably think the Tundra is a good truck instead of it being the bottom of the barrel of full sized pick up trucks.


Just driving a pickup to work, grocery store, etc... does not equate your an expert. Your just like most of society.

Have you ever experimented with your pickup? Went off-roading? something along those lines?

I took my daily driven pickup, put a 6-point roll-cage and fuel cell and modded the suspension per stock classes and ran desert off-road races. I remember one comment on contingency row for a Baja 500 race that I was the closest pickup that was real to what somebody would drive at that race. And yes I had my plates, fully registered on my race truck!

You can learn quite a bit running a few desert races about the pros and cons of a pickup!

I then took another pickup where pickups fearned never going, on road courses and parking lot auto-x.

If you want to learn how a pickup handles corners and speed, look no further than your local SCCA parking lot auto-x course. And if your brave go above 100 with your pickup on historical road courses.

I did that learning how to setup the suspension, tires and driving tecnique, etc... with a pickup!

On top of the racing and even running the drag strip with my road racer, I have 20 years of driving a pickup like most would though most do not have brutal winters like we have up here.

I pretty knowledable when it comes to pickups and my current project is building an overland/expedition type vehicle that can tackle the majority of the terrain out there based off of my knowledge of pickups from mud bogging, trail riding to desert off-road racing to running high speed on road courses.

and oh yea as far as autocross, I have a 66 Corvair Yenko, pretty rare, and I have clocked i better times than any xe-runner tachoma, or 5.0 Mustang for that matter

@ Oxi - you missed my point.
You had said that a pickup would not be good as a police car because it would easily spin its wheels, light rear, tall, heavy bla, bla, bla.
The only case I know of where one could compare a truck to a car was Top Gear USA.
The Evo I mentioned is a very fast, very good handling car. If you follow Top Gear UK, it ranks in the middle of their track ratings and that is compared to cars that are 2X to 100X more expensive.
A Raptor has all the negative traites of a full size truck you discribed plus it is much taller than a standard truck with big offroad tires.
I'd be willing to bet that the Raptor would post a better time than the Crown Vic, or even the Impala police cars.

Like I said in a previous post, high speed chases and cowboy, balls to the walls driving are being legislated/litigated out of existence. Many studies have been done comparing high speed emergency response times and routine response times to scene, and there isn't a big enough of a difference to warrant the extra risk of a very high speed response. The outright performance of a vehicle is rapidly becoming insignificant. Versatility is becoming more important. I'd say a pickup has a car beat in that category - hands down.

Many agencies are putting speed limits on lights and sirens responses for ambulance and fire services. I know of fire services that are not supposed to excede posted speed limits, and ambulance services that are restriced to 15 mph over posted speeds.


Your point is valid but put a Raptor on a tighter parking lot auto-x course and the Raptor would spin those tires trying to keep up with an Evo...

That would resemble dense city centers the parking lot auto-x course. Road course more open roads, etc...

Now if the car was a Subaru WRX setup for rally, the pickup would have no chance unless the driver was an idiot!


Here is a pic of my late X-Runner:

I had 5 years of tinkering with it to make it faster. Notice how low to the ground it was, the Raptor is just too high and relies on its straight line speed to make up for its lack of cornering ability.

Lou said only 10 seconds behind an Evo but in the world of racing on pavement, that is a HUGE gap. I recall spending $3-5,000 of mods just to get about 1 second improvement!

10 seconds is an eternity in the road racing world. A Raptor on a REAL SCCA parking lot course would show its true colors of wheel spin, trust me!

SCCA will most likely not allow a Raptor to compete, too tall in the air and high risk of losing control or rolling it...

OK OXI see you don't have to be a troll after all, nice truck, I use the term loosly, oops sorry said I wouldn't do that, happy motoring, you'll need it, dam there I go again, better quit now, Later

@ Oxi - point is a truck can do the job.
We are not talking about racing.
I don't ever recall seeing a police vehicle drifting through corners or wildly spinning their tires.

I wasn't saying the truck could ever keep up to an Evo. It was the closest time on the scoreboard. Put the 2 of them out in the desert and the times will be reversed.
Re-read all of my posts.
I said it was 10 seconds slower than the Evo. Top Gear posts all the times of every vehicle they tested.
Run any police car on the same course by the same driver "The Stig". The pickup would be in the hunt.
I never mentioned ralley racing or the WRX. The Evo is faster.

You'd be singing a different tune if it were a fleet of Tacoma/Prius hybrids being doled out for testing.

Why don't you go test the ice on the closest lake around with your light as air Taco.


Cops need to move fast to respond to situations and a traditional pickup 4x4 or suv is very dangerous taking corners let alone 90 degree ones...

Heck, I have always not liked the traditional ambulance because they are sluggish and have such a high profile. Every minute counts!

When I was flagging at Road America for the American Le Mans Series race I was impressed with their ambulance. It was a Porsche Cayenne:

I do not seek comfort and luxury as with a traditional ambulance, I want speed and mobility to get me to the hospital FASTER!

Those Porsche's handle the turns at Road America wayy better than a pickup and an suv. Now that is what I am talking about when it comes to running a pickup or suv for public safety vehicles!

The ability to have SPEED and MOBILITY and a traditional pickup with a live axle rear sadly does not have that capability!

If you want an suv-type vehicle as an emergency vehicle, the ALMS series has some sweet rides!

Every second counts and to wait for a traditional ambulance or suv to respond to an accident even on a road course would be an eternity. What race series like ALMS series have developed to get the medic's into the field faster are these Porche's.

These Ceyanne's make the average sports cars look silly with 0-60 in under 4 seconds, braking and handling numbers that are remarkable!

Result: faster response times to accidents on the road courses like Road America which is over 4 miles long!

Road America also uses 1st generation Tundra's as main safety vehicles. Yes they are slow and sluggish like any typical live axle rear pickup!

If they could build a fully independent pickup with imprssive cornering abilities (wider track), it could still maintain ground clearance, decent payload and have enough wheel travel to take it to the dirt. Key would better handling for better response times!

Oxi -
Those Porche units are Initial Responce units not patient on stretcher compatible units. Do you have interior photos?

have you ever worked in the back of an ambulance?
I have!
Mario Andretti at the wheel will ensure the patient or the attending paramedic will not survive the trip to the hospital.
You can't care for a patient if you are bouncing around in the back like a ping pong ball.
An unstable patient will not tolerate much in the way of G-force.
Initial response to a crash scene has to be ballanced between arriving safely and the life of the injured individual.
If I crash on the way to a scene, I am useless to the crash victim, plus I take another unit out of service to save my sorry ass.
Studies have shown that aggressive emergency response driving may shave a few minutes off a response time, but ultimately does not make a statistical difference to patient outcomes.

Studies have shown that aggressive emergency response driving may shave a few minutes off a response time, but ultimately does not make a statistical difference to patient outcomes.

I repeated that point twice. GET IT?
I'm not talking about a race track response in a Porche where the racers are under yellow or the race is red flagged, plus everyone is driving in the same dirrection.
I am talking about 3 AM, drunks are on the roads, and people are idiots.

Personal, and public safety outwiegh any benefits that may be gained by the injured party.
Same applies to police work.
Who cares if a bad guy steals your Taco if it takes a few minutes more to arrive safely.

Lou: as much as you try, he just wont get it, don't keep him going, I was nice to him, an he did show in kind, but I guess he's back to his lod ways.

Back on topic, the RAM looks cool and should save Yuma lots of money, especially at accidents and traffic stops. The electric portion could handle all the vehicle's "activities" and not use any gasoline.

@Wayne - good point. Idling at an accident scene or speed trap burns a lot of fuel. A hybrid ambulance or Rescue Truck would be great candidates for a hybrid setup due to the heavy electrical loads placed on those vehicles.

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