DaimlerChrysler to Manufacture Hybrid Pickup

November 25, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

DaimlerChrysler AG (Auburn Hills, MI) announced that it will be introducing a gasoline-electric hybrid pickup truck next year in a bid to test consumers' willingness to pay for better fuel economy. Chrysler had previously canceled another hybrid vehicle that had been planned for 2003 that would have used electric motors to provide all-wheel-drive because it could not build a business case for it.

To keep its pledge to build a hybrid in 2003, Chrysler accelerated the Dodge Ram contractor's special hybrid pickup truck by a year. The Ram hybrid places an electric motor between the gasoline engine and the transmission, and features an electrical panel that drops down from the side of the truck, allowing it to do double-duty as a low-cost generator.