Update: ‘Range & Price’ section updated.
It is no news that Ram is transitioning to EVs slower than rivals, but it has an exciting product on the horizon – the Ram 1500 electric pickup truck. 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. By 2025, there will be about 10 electric pickups available on the market. The most popular of these include the Tesla Cybertruck, the Ford F-150 Lightning, and the Chevrolet Silverado EV, with the former already sitting on one million reservations, the latter at nearly 200k reservations, and the Chevy selling-out in minutes.
Design & Configuration
The Ram electric truck will feature a dual-cab configuration, which most automakers see as a safe high-volume 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 shown below suggests that, like the F-150 Lightning, the Ram 1500 electric will come with a spare wheel below the bed. Another recipient of the STLA Frame is the Jeep Wrangler EV.
Specific details about the features of the Ram 1500 EV aren’t out yet, but Stellantis has given hints. The electric pickup should get firmware-over-the-air (FOTA) upgrades for improved performance and efficiency throughout its lifecycle. Mamatha Chamarthi, the company’s SVP for Software Business & Product, has suggested that software-enabled performance upgrades will be available after the delivery.
For our Ram pickup owners, customers can increase the capability of their truck to handle greater loads.Mamatha Chamarthi, SVP – Software Business & Product, Stellantis (Stellantis Software Day 2021 on December 7, 2021)
The Ram 1500 EV will be proudly American, utilizing locally manufactured batteries. Stellantis has inked a deal with LG Energy Solution to form a joint venture for lithium-ion battery production in North America. If all goes as planned, the newly formed JV company will open a new battery manufacturing facility with an annual production capacity of 40-gigawatt hours.
Stellantis and LG Energy Energy Solution haven’t finalized the location of the new North American battery factory, but we are expecting it to be in the U.S only. The batteries manufactured at this production site will go into Stellantis’ next-gen BEVs and PHEVs made in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
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 truck customers with range anxiety and/or requirements for customers who use the truck mostly in remote locations where charging poles are uncommon. 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, 2021.
Ram 1500 Electric pickup truck 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 2022, 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 is even further ahead, at 350 kW (supported in GMC Hummer EV Pickup Edition 1). 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
RAM 1500 EV Range & Price
Ford had set the benchmark for pricing high-volume electric full-size pickups in 2021, which was bettered by the General Motors in 2022. The Ford F-150 Lightning costs USD 39,974 in its base configuration aimed at the commercial market, whereas the Chevrolet Silverado EV Work Truck is priced from USD 39,900. We feel that Ram would price the 1500 electric from around USD 40,000 for competitiveness. Ford and Chevrolet in the meantime will find ways to make their offerings affordable as battery costs fall, and production volume improves. The competition will also include the the GMC Sierra Denali electric pickup truck, and a Toyota electric pickup truck.
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 would be about two years late in entering the electric pickup segment compared to chief rivals F-150 Lightning and the Cybertruck. At the Stellantis EV Day 2021, UBS analyst Patrick Hummel asked Carlos Tavares, CEO, Stellantis, 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
In a virtual fireside chat at the Morgan Stanley 8th Annual Auto 2.0 Conference on January 5, 2022, Tavares yet again defended the brand’s electrification timeline. Ram will be late to the party as far as electric vehicles go, but it’s not all bad news for the company. It has a leg up because it can upgrade its EVs based on what competitors are doing.
While we are breaking records every year on the Ram brand, we are preparing the EV pickup trucks, as you said, for 2024, and we are doing it by adjusting the specs and adjusting the performances in function of what we see coming up from our competitors. And yes, it’s a fact that we are coming slightly after them, but it’s also a fact that we have the opportunity to adjust the competitiveness and the appeal of our own trucks to what they are doing.Carlos Tavares, CEO, Stellantis (Morgan Stanley 8th Annual Auto 2.0 Conference on January 5, 2022)
Tavares concluded with a hint that he had received a preview of Ram’s first electric pickup. “What I have seen so far is extremely exciting,” he said. Next year, the brand will introduce the Promaster EV as its first pure-electric vehicle.
Featured Image Source: YouTube/Stellantis