AUBURN HILLS — Chrysler Group LLC, working in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, Friday delivered three demonstration-fleet Chrysler Town & Country plug-in hybrid minivans to the City of Yuma, Ariz.

Consistent with Chrysler’s exacting product-development standards, the plug-in hybrid vehicles will be subjected to the harshest conditions.

“The City of Yuma is unique due to the extreme high ambient temperature,” said Abdullah Bazzi, senior manager of the Chrysler Group’s advanced hybrid vehicle project.

Temperatures exceeding 104 degrees are not uncommon during June, July and August.

“The drive cycle and the way the vehicles will be tested will provide Chrysler engineering a valuable opportunity,” Abdullah added.

Chrysler’s partnership with Yuma is one of several that will see a total of 25 plug-in hybrid minivans subjected to a range of driving cycles.

Each plug-in hybrid minivans is equipped with an E85-compatible 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine mated to a front-wheel-drive, two-mode hybrid transmission.

It also is powered by a liquid-cooled 12.1-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery that affords a total output of 290 horsepower and a range of 700 miles. Charge times are two-to-four hours at 220 volts with a “Level 2” charge cord unit, and eight-to-fifteen hours at 110 volts with a “Level 1” charge unit.

The vehicle’s hybrid system does not require charging.

A fleet of plug-in hybrid Ram pickups also is being evaluated as part of a wider project.

Chrysler Group dominates the minivan market, selling 13.4 million units globally since inventing the segment in 1983.


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