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Spied: Ram 1500 Plug-In Hybrid

by Nick Aziz

Spy photographers have captured the first photos of the Ram 1500 Plug-In Hybrid undergoing testing in Michigan.

Spy photographers have captured the first photos of the Ram 1500 Plug-In Hybrid undergoing testing in Michigan. As announced earlier this year, Chrysler plans to build 140 of the plug-in pickups and test them in a number of regions across the country.

The Plug-In Ram is capable of traveling up to 20 miles using only the power supplied by the 12KWh lithium-ion battery. The truck's 5.7-liter HEMI V8 takes over when the batteries are depleted. Overall fuel economy is expected to improve by more than 65 percent for average drive cycles.

Chrysler is working with battery maker Electrovaya of Mississauga, ON to provide cells for the vehicles. Electrovaya usurped Watertown, MA-based A123 Systems for the battery supply contract.

Chrysler has not confirmed where the test vehicles will be sent, although the automaker says that "more than 21" partners have been selected, including utility companies, government agencies and universities. The testing will be used to collect data for a regular production series of plug-in hybrids.