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Plug-in Hybrid Truck Development - Ram Crew 1500

Chrysler sent $3.1 million to a University of Michigan researcher to help develop a plug-in hybrid pickup truck.

Associate Professor Chris Mi is one of a dozen UofM faculty members working on a $5 million grant from the Michigan Public Service Commission to develop plug-in hybrid vehicles. The research grant involves DTE Energy, General Motors Corporation, and the University of Michigan.

Mi is working on the best way to charge PHEV batteries, in terms of safety and efficiency. The research team is working to develop a battery management system that will ensure all battery cells are charged and discharged evenly to protect the cells from damage, prolong the battery life, and maximize the battery capacity.

At the same time, they are also working to develop fast charging centers, that can recharge a PHEV battery in 10-20 minutes.

The new grant from Chrysler is part of the $48 million grant Chrysler received as part of the stimulus funds. (via chicagotribune.com) Mi's work would help develop a Ram Crew 1500 plug-in hybrid truck, which would make it the only full size plug-in hybrid truck.

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