The Big three do some things really, really well: like building pickup trucks that turn construction guys giddy. While each company has had their fair share of foibles over the past decade they’ve managed to stay more-or-less true to themselves.
Many members of the truck community would probably snort at the idea of marrying hybrid technology with their go-to workhorse, but Chrysler isn’t convinced it’s such a bad idea. So far they have distributed a total of more than 100 test vehicles throughout U.S. cities with the intent to gather market research.
“Cities have been carefully selected to help the Chrysler Group LLC collect a wide range of data,” said Abdullah Bazzi, senior manager of Chrysler’s advanced hybrid vehicle project.
Chrysler maintains that this is strictly a test program for now with no plans for production versions of the trucks in the future, but the trucks will driven over the next three years to evaluate several factors that the company will use.
They plan to test charging performance, real-world performance, city drive cycles and fuel economy. Just because there’s hybrid technology on board, don’t assume these trucks are packing less of a punch. They have the option to run in four or two-wheel drive to save fuel but you’ll find a plenty-potent 5.7-liter Hemi under the hood.
The project, funded both by Chrysler and the Department of Energy, is also developing a similar fleet of 25 PHEV Town & Country minivans.