Fred Diaz, current President and CEO of Chrysler’s Ram truck division has gone on the record as saying that beyond government funded programs, Hybrids are not part of the brand’s strategy moving forward.
“Truckers don’t want to buy Hybrids,” he said. “We need to be an position to address higher fuel economy standards, just not with plug-in Hybrids.”
Chrysler originally announced that it would be working on a Hybrid Ram as far back as a decade ago and indeed, plans were put in place to offer one as part of the 2011 model year lineup. However last year, the company decided it was terminating said plans, though it will continue to pursue a government funded program for a plug-in version, thanks to a $48 million dollar grant it received from the Feds.
Said plug-in truck will use a 12 watt lithium-ion Super-Polymer battery system that will allow the vehicle to run a distance of up to 20 miles on electric propulsion, with a version of the ubiquitous 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 used as the gas engine to extend the truck’s range. As part of the program, Chrysler will deliver up to 140 Hybrid Rams for commercial use, beginning this summer.
However, beyond that, no further development on Hybrids will continue at Ram, though Diaz does expect data gleaned from the government program to prove useful down the road. The division expects to take away some “learning about technology,” from the program he said.
[Source: Plug-In Cars]