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Chrysler delivers Ram PHEVs to its hometown

by Bill Cawthon on

On Monday, Chrysler delivered four more of its plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) Ram 1500 demonstrators. This delivery was strictly local as it was to the City of Auburn Hills, the Michigan city in which Chrysler has its headquarters.

The trucks were delivered by Abdullah Bazzi, senior manager of the Chrysler Group’s advanced hybrid vehicle project. They are part of a 140-vehicle national demonstration fleet developed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy. Like those already delivered to fleet operators in Arizona, California, Massachusetts, New York and North Carolina, these Rams will be used over the next three years to evaluate customer usage, drive cycles, charging, thermal management, fuel economy, emissions and impact on the region’s electric grid.

“Cities have been carefully selected to help Chrysler Group LLC collect a wide range of data,” explained Bazzi. “Auburn Hills is in our backyard and offers a combination of suburban and rural driving that is ideal as a test cycle for these vehicles. The constant charging will allow us to measure the impact on battery life and charging efficiency.”

“Auburn Hills has worked diligently to implement policies and procedures to create a municipal infrastructure that accommodates the growing use of hybrid electric vehicles,” said Pete Auger, Auburn Hills city manager. “We have taken a leading role in smart planning for alternative energy options that will fuel tomorrow’s vehicles.”

As can be seen in the video, Maureen Hammond, Auburn Hills’ mayor pro tem, is delighted to have four free trucks for the next 36 months.

Auburn Hills currently has seven charging stations. Three EV charging stations are located downtown and two each are located on the municipal campus and at the Department of Public Service.

Strictly a demonstration program, there are no plans for a production version of the PHEV Ram 1500 truck at this time.

Video: Chrysler Electronic Communications

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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