Pictures: Brian Williams for Brenda Priddy & Company
Even though there's been little official information from Chrysler recently about the , Michael Berube, director of pickup truck product planning, says it's still coming next year.
"The hybrid Ram is still on track for 2010," Berube told PickupTrucks.com Monday evening. "It's still part of our plans."
Questions about the fate of the fuel-efficient gas-electric version of the half-ton Ram were raised in June, when in bankruptcy court seeking payment for development and production costs related to the Two-Mode Hybrid powertrain that Chrysler co-developed with GM and other partners. GM is Chrysler’s Two-Mode transmission supplier for the Dodge Ram 1500 Hybrid. According to court records, GM has withdrawn that complaint.
In October 2008, Chrysler stopped producing Two-Mode Hybrid versions of the Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen SUVs.
Dodge Ram 1500 Two-Mode Hybrid engine compartment
The Ram Two-Mode Hybrid's electrically variable gearbox houses two electric motors that can power the truck on their own up to about 25 mph, depending on driving conditions. As the multi-displacement 5.7-liter pushrod Hemi V-8 gas engine kicks in, the electric motors will seamlessly support it, individually or in tandem, at low and high speeds, helping the engine enter fuel-saving four-cylinder mode sooner and stay in it longer to achieve maximum gas mileage. Regenerative braking is used to capture energy that would normally be lost during braking or deceleration. The energy is stored in batteries for later use.
The 2010 and GMC Sierra 1500 Two-Mode Hybrid pickups — the only full-size gas-electric trucks currently available — are rated at 21/22 mpg city/highway for both two-wheel and four-wheel drive versions.
Berube didn't comment on the Two-Mode Ram's expected fuel economy figures.