Dodge and University of Michigan-Dearborn Working on PHEV Ram

Dodge Ram 1500

In brief: Chrysler has announced the Dodge Ram PHEV Development program in partnership with the University of Michigan-Dearborn to build a plug-in hybrid electric pickup truck.

Vehicle in the news

Make/Model: Ram (PHEV)
Manufacturer: Dodge (Chrysler)

The word

Dodge Ram 1500

Although Chrysler killed the ENVI program after coming out of bankruptcy in 2009, a few remnants are still around. One of those is the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle plans for the Dodge Ram, the car company's best selling line of vehicles.

Those trucks may see new life with this development and will be based on the two-mode hybrid Ram that is launching next year. The new PHEV will be in fleets in 2011 with limited leasing for real-world testing.

The in-laboratory testing will be done at the University of Michigan Dearborn campus in, of course, Dearborn. Chrysler is funding the lab (via a $48 million government grant) and the UM-D is providing the expertise and manpower.

The lab will be headed by Professor Chris Mi and will likely see the Ram as only the first of several electric vehicle testing projects in the future.

The goals for the new Ram are high: a crew-cab (4-door) 1500 model with next-gen lithium-ion batteries with a 2 hour charge time (220V), a total range of 655 miles and regenerative braking.

And so ...

With successful field testing in 2011 and 2012, Dodge may offer the truck for general consumption as well, but has made no promises.

Photo credits: Dodge

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