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New Hybrids Get Test Drive in Sacramento Region

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Chrysler hopes this is the last test for the trucks before they're made available to the public.    

 The Sacramento Municipal Utility District gets four of the electric gas hybrid Dodge 1500s.   The trucks have outlets for power tools and a braking system that recharges one of the two batteries on board.  David Hatfield with SMUD says the utility is already preparing for increased energy demand once more vehicles like the Dodge Hybrid come on line..  

HATFIELD: "We've been doing a lot of studies on what we call grid impact.  The demand of the vehicles that we expect to see well into the 2030 era, we can manage with the power that we've got  available.  We won't have to build any new power plants to charge up battery electric vehicles."

Reg Modlin with Chrysler says the company believes it has a truck ready for the retail market. 

MODLIN: "To find a pickup truck owner that wants to buy an electric vehicle is hard.  We're trying to make that combination by giving utility to the owner that they can't get by buying their currently conventional pickup truck.

Chrysler projects it will cost half as much to run the hybrid compared to their traditional model.    The company plans to test a similar fleet of 25 hybrid minivans next year.

Besides SMUD, six local cities and Sacramento International Airport will also take part in the testing.  The project is funded by Chrysler, the California Air Resources Board, and the Department of Energy.


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