Chrysler Hybrid Minivans Ready To Face The Stresses Of Fleet Testing

Chrysler Group LLC says three plug-in hybrid electric Town & Country minivans have been delivered to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, completing the full deployment of 25 hybrids among various fleets as a part of a two-year project between Chrysler and the U.S. Department of Energy.

‘The focus now shifts from engineering design and development of this unique technology to real-world testing and evaluation,’ says Abdullah Bazzi, senior manager of Chrysler's advanced hybrid vehicle project.

Chrysler delivered eight hybrid minivans to Duke Energy last week, and other vans are being used in Arizona and Michigan. The vehicles will be tested under various operating temperatures and driving conditions, yielding valuable fuel-economy and charging data for the fleets, Chrysler and project partner Argonne National Laboratory.

The minivans' range exceeds 700 miles, thanks in part to a liquid-cooled 12.1 kWh lithium-ion battery, according to Chrysler. The standard 3.6 L Pentastar gasoline engine in the minivans is E85-compatible.

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