Arizona Chosen as Testing Grounds for Chrysler Hybrid Pickup

Chrysler announced today that it will be testing a new fleet of hybrid Pickup plug ins.  The testing grounds?  The Yuma Police Department.

“There’s a match here between our need and Chrysler’s needs,” Greg Wilkinson, Yuma city administrator, said in a statement. “We’re obviously excited to test these vehicles to supplement our existing fleet and to get them at a time when funding in the budget to get new vehicles has been tight.”

The Yuma Police Department currently uses a fleet of Dodge Ram 1500 trucks, which average a combined city-highway rating of 15 mpg.  With the tightening of belts in both state and city budgets nationwide, it makes sense for municipal services to seek partnerships with major auto manufacturers who are seeking to test and produce more cost efficient vehicles for the mass market.

“Cities have been carefully selected to help the Chrysler Group collect a wide range of data,” said Abdullah Bazzi, head of the automaker’s advanced hybrid vehicle project. “Temperature extremes found in the cold of North Dakota or the heat of Arizona can have a severe impact on battery life and charging efficiency.”

With this project, Chrysler has demonstrated that it can see the turning of the industry tides.  In the coming years, a hybrid or electric vehicle will likely be the norm as opposed to the exception.

Phoenix Valley auto enthusiasts can view and test drive any current Chrysler production model at any local Phoenix Valley area Chrysler dealer.  Seeing as how Yuma, with an identical climate to the Phoenix Valley area, was chosen as the testing grounds for this hybrid Pickup project, Chrysler will likely be a prominent feature at this years Phoenix Arizona International Auto Show,  taking place at the Phoenix Arizona Convention center over Thanksgiving weekend.

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