RAM has promised big things for its upcoming electric pickup truck, the RAM 1500 REV, though specifications have yet to be released.
Superior range, payload, towing, and charge time; that was the message from RAM when it revealed the name of its first production electric truck, the RAM 1500 REV. This message was echoed in RAM’s Super Bowl commercial that poked fun at “Premature Electrification” (PE) concerns. But without releasing the specifications of its upcoming truck, it remains unclear if the historic American truck can achieve its new herculean task.
RAM has yet to release any information about the RAM 1500 REV, other than its design and release date of “late 2024,” shown in its first-ever Super Bowl commercial. However, looking at the current competition, you can get a good idea of what specs RAM is aiming for.
One of the most critical factors a consumer will look at when buying an EV is the vehicle’s range, so it is no wonder RAM is promising to lead in the category. To achieve this and upset the current range leader in electric pickups, the Rivian R1T, the RAM 1500 REV would need to be able to go more than 328 miles on a single charge; no small task for Stellantis’ first EV in the United States.
Second, if the REV is going to have a superior payload, it will need to put up numbers almost equal to the current gas variant RAM. The Ford F150 Lightning leads electric trucks, having a payload of 2,235 pounds, while the gas-powered RAM 1500 has capacity for only 100 pounds more.
Towing, a massive challenge for any electric truck, could be a particularly difficult challenge for Stellantis engineers if their truck is to be a leader in the segment. While the Ford and Rivian trucks have towing capacities of 10,000 and 11,000 pounds, neither has been able to do so while towing for any considerable distance, a concern that is even addressed in RAM’s own Super Bowl ad. From the testing done by various sources on both the Lightning and the R1T, anything more than 100-120 miles of range while towing could make the 1500 REV a leader in its class.
As if these three tasks weren’t enough, RAM is promising to be a new leader in charge time, a crown that will certainly need to be battled for thanks to Ford’s impressive 30-40 minute 10-80% charge time.
This leads us to the question; are these achievements remotely possible? There are a couple of reasons to believe they are.
First, suppose RAM can build its first EV on an 800/900-volt architecture. In that case, the drivetrain’s efficiency and charging time could improve dramatically, allowing the 1500 REV to hit many of the targets listed above. This is especially the case compared to the 400-volt architecture used within the current electric trucks on the market.
Second, if RAM can source higher efficiency motors, it may be able to circumvent issues of range, though it may face problems regarding power to move over 11,000 pounds when towing.
Third and potentially the most likely, RAM could opt to fit a gargantuan battery into its first electric truck. With a massive battery pack of over 150 kWh, the 1500 REV would benefit from increased range and increased power thanks to the battery’s ability to meet higher power needs. Though, with such a massive pack, the RAM 1500 REV would suffer in the weight department, potentially decreasing its payload and towing capabilities.
Whether RAM achieves its design goals or not, the added competition in the electric vehicle market is always welcome. Though RAM isn’t introducing its first EV as quickly as many would have hoped, with such high goals, it may be worth waiting for. Though with competition on the horizon, Stellantis will need to work quickly if it hopes not to be left behind.
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