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Chrysler is temporarily taking its test fleet of plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles (PHEVs) out of service to conduct a battery-pack upgrade. Michael Duhaime, head of electric powertrain systems, said the action was being taken to focus resources on a better battery. Three of the 109 pickups in the fleet were damaged when their batteries overheated. There were no injuries, and the incidents occurred when the vehicles were unoccupied. While none of the similarly equipped minivans were affected, they are also having battery upgrades, which will use a different battery chemistry. The projects are jointly funded by Chrysler Group and the U.S. Department of Energy. The next phase of testing focuses on grid interaction and safety. Some vehicles may not be returned to service, depending on the complexity of the upgrades. The PHEVs were being evaluated for durability by 16 municipalities and utility companies across 20 states. They had accumulated more..

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Chrysler is going to surprise by becoming the most fuel efficient car company at one point. They may not keep the title for years and years but at some point for however long, I believe they will achieve that title and I'll be waiting!
 

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I'd say this is another good step for Chrysler to do. Test, test, upgrade, and more testing. It's best for them to do so, and not push a product out with uncertainty hoping if it succeeds.
 

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Nice feed back article.
 

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If lithium air batteries continue to advance at their current rate, by 2020-2025, we will have electric vehicles with 500-700 mile range and a battery pack that is 75% lighter than today.
IF they can be made safe so that these lovely "thermal events" are not so common amongst them.
 

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Overheating batteries put Chrysler plug-in hybrid testing on hold


Posted Sep 26th 2012 3:57PM

Chrysler is temporarily pulling 109 trucks and 23 minivans out of a fleet testing program.


The fleet of plug-in hybrid Ram 1500 pickup trucks and Chrysler Town & Country minivans have accumulated 1.3 million miles during road testing, Chrysler said. The tests are being funded jointly by the U.S. Department of Energy ($58 million) and Chrysler ($65.2 million). The minivans have gotten an average of 55 miles per gallon of gasoline in testing and the Ram 1500 pickups have gotten 37.4 mpg.
 
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