Tomorrow’s News Today: Chrysler is Giving 14 Monster Trucks to San Francisco – That Thing Got a Hemi?

As a matter of fact, yes, the 14 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV’s) what Chrysler Group LLC is going to give to the City and County of San Francisco tomorrow all have Hemi engines, monstrous V8, 5.7-litre Hemis, to be precise.

But, these big rigs also have an extra battery and electric motor for hybrid functionality PLUS members of the “City Family” will be able to plug in to the power grid to charge up the battery as well.

It’s going to look a little something like this, garish graphics and all:

Click to expand

Now, if City workers are really careful, they’ll probably be able to go 15 miles about town solely on electric power, assuming that the battery is all charged up at the beginning of the day.

But what San Francisco probably really wants is an electric truck without a gas engine at all. Oh well. (It’s the same way with Mayor Ed Lee’s official staff car – why have them put the gas engine in at all if you don’t want it and you aren’t going to use it?)

BTW, Chrysler was a-gonna to build plug-in hybrid pick-em-ups like these in mass production for people living in Flyover Country, but then Big C realized that a project like this would lose money. Big Money. The More You Build, The More You Lose, kind of thing. Well, that idea got the kibosh.

But then the Feds said, well, here’s a few tens of millions of dollars we’ve got sitting around, so why don’t you take that money to build just 140 units instead, and then give these trucks away to America’s mayors?

And, since San Francisco is special, so very special, we’re getting 10% of the national supply.

Hurray?

“Who:
Edwin M. Lee, San Francisco Mayor
Abdullah Bazzi, Senior Manager – Chrysler Advanced Hybrid Vehicle Project, Chrysler Group LLC
Joe Roos, Assistant Vehicle Chief Engineer – Chrysler PHEV, Chrysler Group LLC
Steve Sokolsky, Calstart

Where:
Civic Center Plaza
San Francisco

Details:
Following the press conference, Ram 1500 Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles will be available for photo opportunities and a ride-and-drive around a city driving course. Media parking available in parking structure just off the Civic Center plaza.”

UPDATE: Well, it turns out that Sacramento is going to get 14 big rigs as well, so maybe we’re not all that special. In mitigation, Los Angeles and Fun Diego and the rest of SoCal, they’re getting nothing! Zero free trucks from Chrysler and Uncle Sucker. Eat it, L.A!

Ever more deets, after the jump.

Chrysler Group LLC Providing San Francisco and Sacramento with Test Fleet of PHEV Ram 1500 Pickup Trucks

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Aug 2, 2011

– 28 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) will be supplied to San
Francisco and Sacramento as part of a demonstration project by Chrysler
Group LLC
– Real world city miles to be accumulated on demonstration vehicles over
the next three years
– Fleet of vehicles developed in partnership with U.S. Department of
Energy
– Ram 1500 plug-in hybrid test trucks will be used to evaluate city drive
cycles, charging performance, fuel economy and real-world performance
Chrysler Group LLC, working in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), will deliver 14 demonstration fleet Ram 1500 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) pickup trucks to officials in both San Francisco and Sacramento this week.

The 28 PHEV Ram 1500 pickups to be delivered by Abdullah Bazzi, senior manager of the Chrysler Group’s advanced hybrid vehicle project, are part of a national demonstration fleet of 140 vehicles that will be used during the next three years to evaluate customer usage, drive cycles, charging, thermal management, fuel economy, emissions and impact on the region’s electric grid. In addition to San Francisco and Sacramento, ten other partners across the United States will receive vehicles for demonstration and testing purposes.

Earlier this year, Chrysler Group LLC delivered 10 Ram 1500 PHEV trucks to the city of Yuma, Ariz., to take full advantage of hot weather and conduct thermal testing in the desert southwest.

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

Cities and states were selected to evaluate temperature extremes, urban traffic cycles and diverse climates and geographies from North Dakota, Massachusetts, Hawaii and Arizona. California cities include San Francisco and Sacramento.

The Ram 1500 PHEV includes a liquid-cooled 12.9kWhr lithium ion battery pack and a 6.6 kilowatt (kW) on-board charger. Additional features include AC power generation of up to 6.6kW; directional charging; reverse power flow and full regenerative braking used to capture more energy. For fuel economy improvements, the front axle of the four-wheel-drive automatic transmission can be disconnected when not needed. The powertrain also includes a 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engine and a two-mode hybrid transmission. The 5.7-liter Hemi is equipped with a Fuel Saver technology that improves fuel efficiency at highway speeds by shutting down fuel delivery to up to four cylinders.

The battery pack is located under the second-row seat of the pickup and is liquid cooled to help maintain a consistent battery temperature. For on-the-job electrical power tools, a 240 volt/30 amp four-prong outlet and 120volt/20amp duplex outlet power strip is located in the rear box.

“Cities have been carefully selected to help the Chrysler Group LLC collect a wide range of data,” explained Abdullah Bazzi, senior manager of Chrysler’s advanced hybrid vehicle project. “Both San Francisco and Sacramento offer heavy traffic and urban driving that are ideal city test cycles. The constant charging will allow us to measure the impact on battery life and charging efficiency.”

The choice of a Ram 1500 pickup truck was based upon two-speed transmission technology that was readily available.

Urban use also will be tracked to measure battery performance and overall hybrid efficiency with the demonstration fleet of pickups. Other uses include military bases where vehicles will be able to provide power back to the electric grid in what is termed “reverse power flow” of up to 6.6kW.

Funding for the program in part is provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 through the Transportation Electrification Initiative sponsored by the DOE. The grant, totaling $48 million from DOE and $49.4 million from Chrysler Group LLC, was designed to develop vehicles that will be cost-efficient for consumers, satisfy safety concerns of daily travel without recharging and help reduce dependence on foreign oil.

The Chrysler Group LLC also is developing a similar fleet of 25 Town & Country minivans with plug-in hybrid technology for demonstration and evaluation that will be allocated to select cities later this year

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One Response to “Tomorrow’s News Today: Chrysler is Giving 14 Monster Trucks to San Francisco – That Thing Got a Hemi?”

  1. Survive the Wilderness…

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