Chrysler Group Awards UM-Dearborn $3.1M to Support Development of Plug-in Hybrid System for Ram Pickup Project
Chrysler Group LLC has awarded Chris (Chunting) Mi, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, $3.1 million for his proposed, “Ram Pickup Truck PHEV Development and Demonstration Project.”
In August, Chrysler was announced as being selected for $70 million in funding from the $2.4 billion in federal grant monies awarded to accelerate the manufacturing and deployment of hybrid electric vehicles and new-generation batteries for a project to develop, validate, and deploy 220 advanced plug-in hybrid electric pickups and minivans. (Earlier post.)
I feel very excited and also fortune because we’re the only major development partner on this project, and the only university to work with an OEM on such a project. We have been working toward the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle for many years—specifically in battery management, vehicle control, power electronics, and electric motors. We have also worked with Chrysler on their recent PHEV development.—Chris Mi
Mi’s research role includes the development of a state-of-the-art power electronics laboratory for PHEV power converter, battery pack, and e-motor testing and characterization; battery management and control development; evaluation of PHEV on-road performance; charger development, testing, and validation; a power panel for battery control and charger interface; and more.
This research is an integral part of Chrysler’s overall project titled, “Advancing Transportation through Vehicle Electrification–PHEV.” UM-Dearborn is one of many partners in the projects, but a key participant in that it will conduct research and develop systems and products. Many of the other partners are municipalities around the country that will be involved more in demonstration than in research and development.
Mi’s proposal calls for a Ram Crew 1500 that is “the only plug-in hybrid truck available,” and the “only full-sized truck with advanced technology partial zero emission,” among other features. The truck would have a lithium-ion battery pack with charge times of two to four hours at 220 volts, or four to six hours at 110 volts; a full hybrid system function without plug-in; a range of 655 miles; and a regenerative braking system.
Power management will be one of the key challenges in this development? how you minimize fuel consumption for different driver behavior and different driving scenarios with a fixed battery pack. Another challenge is the safety and reliability of the vehicle system with a large, lithium-ion battery pack.—Chris Mi
As part of this funding announced in August, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, UM-Dearborn, and Kettering University received $2.5 million to create training and education programs for green mobility.