Chrysler and the U.S. Department of Energy have delivered the first 10 Ram 1500 plug-in hybrid electric pickup trucks to Yuma, Ariz. for testing in the region’s extreme summer climate. Fittingly, they’ll also be used to put the heat on criminals.
Eight of the experimental trucks will be modified and used as patrol vehicles by the Yuma Police Department, according to the Yuma Sun newspaper.
Jerry Geier, Yuma’s police chief, said he’s “really looking forward to the trucks…getting them outfitted and out on patrol and putting them to use.”
The trucks rely on a 345-horsepower, 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 mated to a modified version of Chrysler’s two-mode hybrid transmission. A 12.9 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery has been substituted for the smaller, nickel-metal hydride battery in Chrysler’s conventional hybrid system.
The system is expected to yield about 20 miles on pure battery power – and up to 655 miles on a tank of gas. The performance of the big V8 isn’t compromised by the hybrid drive, so it can tow up to 6,000 pounds and carry a payload of up to 1,000 pounds.