Deliveries have started for a fleet of demonstration plug-in Ram pickups intended for government agencies and utilities across the U.S. The first batch of 10 plug-in Rams has arrived at the city of Yuma, Ariz. The U.S. Department of Energy, Chrysler Group and its suppliers collaborated to develop these trucks. A total of 140 plug-in hybrid pickups will be used for testing.
According to Abdullah Bazzi, senior manager of the Chrysler Group's advanced hybrid vehicle project, they made the hybrid truck fleet to demonstrate how the technology will be used in the real world.
During the three years of testing, these vehicles will be monitored to record drive cycles, charging, thermal management, fuel economy, emissions and the impact on the nation's electric grid.
The demonstration fleet is expected to run a combined 7 million miles. Bazzi said that the company isn’t planning the production of a plug-in Ram pickup. Vehicle performance can be monitored remotely by engineers at Chrysler's headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Offering a combined 399 hp, each plug-in four-wheel-drive Ram 1500 pickup is fitted with a 345-hp, 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 and plug-in hybrid technology. The plug-in pickups can be driven on battery power for about 50 miles, said chief engineer Curtis Semak.
These pickups will achieve about 32 mpg in combined electric and gasoline mode. The Ram averages 22 mpg when it operates on gasoline after the batteries run out of power. Bazzi added that the Ram plug-in has a range of 650 to 700 miles when equipped with a full tank of gasoline (27 gallons) and electric assist.
Chrysler said that it was last year when it started the development of its RAM Plug-in Hybrid. This was done under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Vehicle Electrification Program of the U.S. Department of Energy. As part of this undertaking, Chrysler revealed that it chose Electrovaya as its key supplier partner.
At present, the RAM Truck is the top selling vehicle of the company. Meanwhile the Plug-in Hybrid Electric version, which uses power from gasoline, battery, or both, remains to be a full-sized truck that can go as far as 20 miles running solely on electricity. It is also equipped with the Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions. Chrysler added that the release of the PHEV Ram trucks is scheduled to start in summer.
The reason Chrysler chose this company is because of its battery technology, specifically the Lithium Ion SuperPolymer Battery System with a capacity of 12 kWh. Fabricated in North America, this system carries with it Electrovaya's very own trademarked battery system as well as battery management system. It even has the complete electronic, electrical, mechanical, and thermal subsytems. What sets Electrovaya apart from its rival is that its battery technology was made using a non-toxic and clean production process which is reinforced by more than 150 patents.
Electrovaya’s Vice President of Operations Bruce Coventry reveals that its battery system is not only able to deliver outstanding performance as it relates to power and energy, but it was also made under a clean manufacturing method that is certain to attract even the most environment-conscious of buyers. Since the company’s technology boasts of a superior energy density, he continues, the vehicle retains its high performance while ensuring that the battery has a small carbon footprint.