Chrysler Confirms Dodge Ram Hybrid

Chrysler confirmed its plans today to release a hybrid version of the Dodge Ram pickup in 2010. Frank Klegon, Chrysler executive vice president of product development, said the hybrid Ram was part of the company’s efforts to revive the company’s product portfolio. Chrysler’s timeline puts the company about two years behind General Motors, which will introduce the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid and GMC Sierra Hybrid pickups later this year.

In a January 2008 press release, Chrysler indicated that the Dodge Ram Hybrid would use the hemi-powered hybrid system being applied to the hybrid versions of the Dodge Durango Hybrid and Chrysler Aspen Hybrid. “The renowned HEMI powerplant, in hybrid form, will continue to feature Chrysler’s Multi-displacement System, which allows the engine to seamlessly alternate between four-cylinder mode when less power is needed and V-8 mode when more power is in demand.” Those vehicles are expected to achieve fuel economy ratings of 18 in the city and 19 on the highway.

Hybrid technology has not yet been applied to high-volume full-size pickup trucks. As consumers demand greater fuel efficiency, hybrids are likely to expand into a wide range of segments and sizes, including pickups, minivans, wagons, and subcompacts—all of which currently lack a high-mpg hybrid option. Car companies have a limited window of opportunity to become the first in these new hybrid segment—as the race for fuel economy leadership and green bragging rights intensifies.

In December 2004, Daimler-Chrysler produced a limited number of Dodge Ram trucks using mild hybrid technology. Those vehicles, which offered a 10 – 15% in fuel efficiency, were only available to fleet customers. The company dubbed the vehicle a “contractor special,” because it offered traditional household three-prong outlets for construction workers to run power tools. At that time, it was thought that the mild hybrid could be a good candidate to become the first diesel-powered hybrid in production.

In 2007, Chrysler also announced that the Dodge Ram would receive a non-hybrid turbodiesel engine that will meet 50-state emissions standards, and deliver a 30 percent fuel economy improvement.

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  • VaPrius

    Kudos to Chrysler on waking up. They, especially the Dodge brand, are particularly out of step with today’s market. 18 MPG though AS A HYBRID! Whoever purchased those vehicles must be dying.

  • Science News

    It’s about time Chrysler gets with the game.

  • steved28

    I still don’t understand why you would START your intro into the hybrid market with a truck. But I guess if you have “The renowned HEMI powerplant” (which last I looked was still using pushrods, and the hemispherical head was intoduced in the 60’s) This is leading edge technology.

  • Anonymous

    I know this article stated Chrysler will make this truck availible to the public in 2010. However, they have been availible for fleet sale for a couple years…

  • Boom Boom

    Oh boy! 15% fuel savings!! (according to dodge’s own article linked above). Most other hybrids (including SUVs) get 30-40% fuel savings.

    This thing isn’t going sell. Just like the Tahoe. And then GM and Chrysler will say “boo-hoo no one will buy our hybrids so won’t make any more” and they’ll just get further behind in technology.

    Ford, if they would build something besides the worthwhile Escape as a hybrid, may be the only hope for domestics.

  • Anonymous

    My 1953 Dodge V8 was a hemi. And Chrysler had an even bigger version before that. In the late 50’s Chrysler hemi’s were the engine of choice for full blown dragsters.

  • JJSpawn

    It makes a little since. Go into the market that hasn’t really been tapped yet. Which right, is what most of them are doing anyway. Only a few hybrids, are in the same market as each other. Then the ones that are in the same market are just a knock off anyway, ie altima, not really putting effort into it..

  • Boom Boom

    Going into a new market which hasn’t been “tapped” only makes sense if:
    A) Your market entry is an improvement over the non-hybrids (15 % is kinda weak)
    B) The market is actually ready for a Hybrid.

    On both counts, I would say Chrysler fell short. Maybe the reason that Toyota doesn’t make a hybrid Tundra is that they’ve figure out that they won’t sell. The truck market will probably be the last folks to be open to hybrids. Truck buyers are all about the power and roar of a big engine. Compromising on power for MPG isn’t going to be easy. (And I know, I know that electric motors have more torque, etc. But the impression that hybrid=weak will need to be overcome first in an easier to convince demographic… perhaps sports cars.)

  • jcIowa

    You morrons, the 15% improvement was on previous models only available through fleet sales. The new models are 30% better than the standard model and still use the same big hemi! At worst the truck will be too quiet when the hemi is not engaged and they’ll stick with the lame 18/19mpg instead of at least matching Chevy’s 21/22.

  • Edgardo Campos

    Good Idea hope it’s not as butt ugly as the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid

  • Freddie

    All this reviews keep saying all the cars for sale are great but I think they are just trying to sell them. So it’s hard to believe all this fuel economy. I like my car and I’m not going to buy the new one like that.

  • tapra1

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