DaimlerChrysler Corporation and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive & Armaments Command (TACOM) – National Automotive Center (NAC) have announced they will develop a military version of the automaker's environmentally friendly Dodge Ram HEV hybrid electric pickup truck.

Under the agreement, DaimlerChrysler will design, build and test the military version of the Ram HEV for TACOM. The vehicle will be designed to meet requirements of the Army's Commercially Based Tactical Truck (COMBATT) program.

“This is a wonderful partnering opportunity for the Army to share in technology development with DaimlerChrysler,” said Dennis Wend, director of NAC.

Wend said the effort is part of the Army's 21st Century Truck Initiative, which has goals of building more fuel-efficient, smarter and safer trucks.

The vehicle developed for the Army will be based on the 2002 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup equipped with a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain. The truck can be operated in either diesel-electric hybrid or electric-only mode. When parked, the vehicle's hybrid powertrain components can provide up to 20 kW of continuous electrical power to operate equipment at remote sites.