You may remember a hybrid version of the Dodge Durango, and its sister model, the Chrysler Aspen. That was one of the shortest-lived model in the whole automotive history. It has been on the market for barely a few months, and it was in production for even less that that. But its hybrid system, the famous two-mode hybrid, still exists. You’ll find it in a Chevrolet Tahoe, in the BMW ActiveHybrid X6, or in the Mercedes ML 450 BlueHybrid.
The two-mode hybrid is a great technology, very effective for the consumer, but expensive for the manufacturer. The Chrysler group has been toying with the idea of a two-mode hybrid Ram going into production for a few years, we can confirm today that this project is dead. But the hybrid Ram is not, because besides production, there’s also research and development.
Chrysler engineers have been working on a plug-in hybrid version of the two-mode, they chose to add a battery pack from Electrovaya. With a capacity of 12-kWh, it gives a range of 20 miles in electric mode. 140 will be built, but none will be sold. Government agencies will get them for 3 years to test the technology, in various locations and climatic conditions. Chrysler shall take them back after while, learning all it can from the experience.
We hope this knowledge will help them develop a plug-in hybrid they will sell to the people.