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Overheating in Electronic Vehicle Testing

Chrysler Group has suspended its testing of 109 pickups with plug-in hybrid powertrains due to batteries overheating in three vehicles. The Ram 1500 vehicles have a liquid-cooled 12.9 KWh lithium ion battery pack, 6.6 KW on board charger, and 5.7 liter Hemi V-8 engine that can shut down fuel delivery to up to four cylinders.

A different battery chemistry will be used in the project's next phase before the vehicles are returned to service. No similar issues were reported with the 23 plug-in hybrid minivans, which will also receive a battery upgrade. Chrysler looks to be aiming at a different market than most of the other automobile manufacturers with its hybrid vehicles.

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About this Author

Bruce Goodman, Environmental lawyer, Varnum

Bruce practices energy law, environmental law, and construction law. His energy background includes negotiating electric power sales agreements (both for wholesale sellers of energy and for retail consumers of energy) state electric rate cases, developing municipal energy tariffs, and energy project structuring and permitting. For years, he published a blog focused on alternative energy developments in Michigan. Most recently he has been involved in various alternative energy projects, including wind energy, biofuels and solar projects.

His environmental experience includes air...