AUBURN HILLS, MI – Duke Energy in Charlotte, N.C. is receiving 10 Ram 1500 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) pickup trucks. Chrysler said that these vehicles are part of a demonstration program only. There are no plans for a production version of the PHEV Ram 1500 truck at this time, according to the automaker.
“Duke Energy is pleased to have the opportunity to take part in this demonstration program with Chrysler LLC and the U.S. Department of Energy,” said Jim Stanley, Duke Energy’s senior vice president of power delivery. “The information from Duke Energy provided to both Chrysler and the Department of Energy will help shape product development within the automotive industry and electric utility programs and infrastructure that could lead to more of these vehicles in the future.”
Chrysler said it’s also developing a similar fleet of 25 Chrysler Town & Country minivans with plug-in hybrid technology. The automaker said those vehicles are designated for demonstration and evaluation and will be allocated to select cities later this year.
Earlier this year, Chrysler Group LLC delivered 10 Ram 1500 PHEV trucks to the city of Yuma, Ariz. Other cities that have received the demonstration Ram 1500 pickups include San Francisco and Sacramento, Calif.
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, Chrysler said the front axle of the four-wheel-drive automatic transmission can be disconnected when not needed. The powertrain also includes a 5.7L HEMI V-8 engine and a two-mode hybrid transmission. The 5.7L 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 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 through the Transportation Electrification Initiative sponsored by the DOE provided part of the funding. The grant totaled $48 million from DOE. Chrysler invested $49.4 million in this program.