With the delivery of 4 plug-in electric Town & Country vans earlier in the week to the City of Auburn Hills, and the news that yesterday that they also completed a shipment of 8 further vans to Duke Energy, it appears Chrysler has made good on an arrangement with the Department of Energy to produce 25 T&Cs to various partners in the US.
The Department of Energy program sees up to 10 million dollars of grant money, coupled with 15.8 million from Chrysler themselves to create these vehicles and study their usage in this application.
Today's deployment is part of an ongoing two-year study of the technology’s real-world performance in a minivan application.
“Chrysler is looking forward to the two years of real-world data that will be obtained,” said Abdullah Bazzi, senior manager of the Chrysler Group’s advanced hybrid vehicle project. “Such data will enable Chrysler engineers to assess the viability of the technology for future applications.”
Chrysler goes on to state that each plug-in hybrid minivan is equipped with an E85-compatible 3.6L Pentastar engine mated to a front-wheel-drive, two-mode hybrid transmission.
As for the plug-in component, a liquid-cooled 12.1 KWhr lithium-ion battery is also on board that "affords a total output of 290 horsepower and a range of 700-miles".
What was missing from all the press releases from Chrysler this week was any reference to the anticipated all electric range of the vehicles and/or their combing fuel efficiency (or MPGe).
Hopefully, over the next two years of the program, data will be released to the public.