The 28 PHEV Ram 1500 pickups, developed in partnership with U.S. Department of Energy, are part of a national evaluation program of 140 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) that will be used during the next three years demonstration and evaluation purposes.
The Ram 1500 PHEV includes a liquid-cooled 12.9kWhr lithium ion battery pack and a 6.6 kilowatt (kW) on-board charger. Additional features include AC power generation of up to 6.6kW; directional charging; reverse power flow and full regenerative braking used to capture more energy.
For fuel economy improvements, the front axle of the four-wheel-drive automatic transmission can be disconnected when not needed. The powertrain also includes a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine and a two-mode hybrid transmission. The 5.7-liter Hemi is equipped with a Fuel Saver technology that improves fuel efficiency at highway speeds by shutting down fuel delivery to up to four cylinders.
The battery pack is located under the second-row seat of the pickup and is liquid cooled to help maintain a consistent battery temperature. For on-the-job electrical power tools, a 240 volt/30 amp four-prong outlet and 120volt/20amp duplex outlet power strip is located in the rear box.
The choice of a Ram 1500 pickup truck was based upon two-speed transmission technology that was readily available.
Urban use also will be tracked to measure battery performance and overall hybrid efficiency with the demonstration fleet of pickups. Other uses include military bases where vehicles will be able to provide power back to the electric grid in what is termed “reverse power flow” of up to 6.6kW.
In addition to San Francisco and Sacramento, ten other partners across the United States will receive vehicles for demonstration and testing purposes.
Earlier this year, Chrysler delivered 10 Ram 1500 PHEV trucks to the city of Yuma, Ariz., to take full advantage of hot weather and conduct thermal testing in the desert southwest.
Aside from the PHEV Ram pickup truck, Chrysler is also developing a similar fleet of 25 Town & Country minivans with plug-in hybrid technology for demonstration and evaluation purposes.[wzslider height=”400″ lightbox=”true”]