DaimlerChrysler Building Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles
AUBURN HILLS, MI – As part of a test program, DaimlerChrysler will place up to 40 Dodge Sprinter Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) with customers in California, Kansas City, and New York, among other locations within the United States. Currently, the manufacturer is investigating the feasibility of plug-in hybrid technology in real-world tests.According to DaimlerChrysler, plug-in technology works best in commercial applications in which the vehicle returns to base after each shift to be plugged into a power grid. However, the technology also works well in urban traffic situations for daily commuters.Based on Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle technology, the Dodge Sprinter PHEV has the ability to drive up to 20 miles on electric-only power. It accomplishes this with a switch on the dashboard giving the operator the ability to manually switch between modes as needed or automatically by the vehicle control system. Two different combustion engines are being mated to the PHEV system, a five-cylinder diesel and a V-6 gasoline. The diesel version will yield the highest fuel economy benefit and is the first fleet test of a diesel plug-in hybrid system.Plug-in hybrid technology is part of DaimlerChrysler’s advanced propulsion technology umbrella, which also includes exceptionally efficient gasoline engines, advanced diesel technology, ethanol flex-fuel, and zero-emission fuel-cell vehicles.