It is no news that Ram is transitioning to EVs slower than rivals, but it has a product on the horizon now – the Ram 1500 electric pickup. Ram, “the only dedicated truck and van brand,” as CEO Mike Koval proudly markets it, plans to launch its first EV in 2024.
Analysts feel there is immense pressure on Ram to electrify vehicles as there is a growing audience base for electric SUVs and electric trucks. About 10 new electric pickups are due by 2022, with the most popular obviously being the Tesla Cybertruck, reportedly sitting on 1 million orders currently, followed by the Ford F-150 Lightning with 100k+ orders.
Design & Configuration
The Ram 1500 electric will feature a dual-cab configuration, which most automakers see as a safe high-volume cab configuration for their first electric pickup trucks. The steeper windshield and lower roofline suggest that the Ram 1500 electric will have a more aerodynamic design than the ICE Ram 1500. At the front, it will have an illuminated brand logo and a hood-level full-width signature light. At the rear, we can see a smoothly sloping C-pillar in the teaser.
Platform & Towing
The RAM 1500 electric is due in 2024, and so, it may arrive as the first model based on the STLA Frame platform, which Stellantis plans to commercialize in the middle of the same year. We expect the towing capacity to cross the 10,000 lbs figure, as is the norm. One of the two pictures of the platform below suggests that, like the Ford F-150 Lightning, the RAM 1500 electric will come with a spare wheel below the bed.
RAM 1500 Range Extender version hinted
STLA Frame models, likely including the RAM 1500 electric, will be available with a range extender system as well. The range-extender solution will help Stellantis pitch its more eco-friendly models to its truck customers with range anxiety and/or requirements for customers who use the truck mostly in remote locations. The range-extender EVs will offer a range in the same level as a pickup with a traditional powertrain and have no compromise on the key characteristics, be it payload or cargo volume. Patrice Lucas, Cross Line & Project Engineering, Stellantis, hinted the same at the Stellantis EV Day 2021 on July 8.
Ram 1500 Electric charging
Ram hasn’t revealed the features or specifications of the 1500 EV yet. However, it has confirmed EVs that will feature fast-charging at up to 150 kW, dynamic range mapping, charge station locator, EV dynamic trip energy prediction, smartphone controls, smart charging/vehicle preconditioning, and drive modes. It looks like RAM EVs, including the Ram 1500 electric, won’t be nearly as sophisticated as their rivals. Consider the charging rate, for instance.
150 kW is a normal fast-charging rate in 2021, and the standard specification of the F-150 Lightning that goes on sale in early 2022. Tesla is already at 250 kW, while GM’s EVs will support charging at up to 350 kW from 2022. Ram needs to do better at charging speeds if its electric pickup has to appeal in 2024. Customers would also expect more digitalization and enhanced interior compared to gas-powered Ram 1500.
- Power & Torque
- Fuel Economy
- On-board power
- Unique style/proportion
- All the driving characteristics of BEVs with real-world range and flexibility
Range & Price
Ford has set the benchmark for pricing high-volume electric full-size pickups. The Ford F-150 Lightning costs USD 39,974 in its base configuration, and Ford has already received more than 100,000 pre-orders. We feel Ram would price the 1500 electric from around USD 40,000. Ford may find ways to make the F-150 Lightning more affordable in the meantime, as battery costs fall and production volume improves. The competition will include the Chevrolet Silverado electric, too.
It is our responsibility to serve our loyal following of RAM owners who believe in our products and who are proud to wear our badge today, but also bring in a greater number of new customers to our brand by continuing to be bold and challenging tradition.Mike Koval, CEO, RAM (Stellantis EV Day 2021)
The Ram 1500 Electric will be about two years late in entering the new electric pickup segment compared to chief rivals Ford F-150 Lightning and the Chevrolet Silverado Electric (name TBA). At the Stellantis EV Day 2021, UBS analyst Patrick Hummel asked Carlos Tavares, CEO, Stellantis, that if the company’s best-selling pickup could lose substantial market share due to the delay. In response, Tavares defended the plan saying it is right on the timing.
We are just going to accelerate, and every time we decide a new investment on all of those four BEV focus platforms, we make the decision based on our ability to beat the competition at the moment where we hit the ground with the new products. So, of course, we predict or try to predict, what is going to be the pace of progress of our competitors, and of course, we decide our own investments and our own specs based on where we see our competitors going in a very clear competitive mindset which is to beat them when we hit the ground with the new products on those new platforms. So that’s how we think about things, and we feel that we are exactly on the right timing with the right power, and by the way, thanks to the scale of Stellantis, we are now doing this race with the other carmakers, and we are just fine about it.Carlos Tavares, CEO, Stellantis
Featured Image Source: YouTube/Stellantis