Fuel-Cell-Powered Ram Headed for U.S., EU Markets

Stellantis will build a hydrogen fuel-cell electric Ram heavy-duty pickup in Poland and Mexico as FCEV pickups gradually replace diesel trucks.

David Kiley, Senior Editor

May 9, 2024

2 Min Read
Ram lineup will include an FCEV HD pickup and a plug-in hybrid.

Stellantis will manufacture a hydrogen fuel-cell electric version of its Ram pickup in Mexico, with the hope of selling 100,000 per year globally by 2030.

Jean-Michel Billig, the head of the automaker’s fuel-cell program, says there will be an FCEV Ram 5500 for North America, as well as one for the European market that already has begun low-volume production in Poland.

Billig, in an interview with German media outlet Welt am Sonntag, said Ram is targeting to have 40% its commercial-vehicle sales FCEVs with a “completely decarbonized product range in Europe” by the end of the decade.

Both the U.S. and the European Union countries are moving to significantly limit the use of diesel fuel in the next decade to reduce particulate and NOx pollution. Though there are some differing opinions, many companies believe FCEV powertrains are a better replacement for diesel engines than batteries. Batteries weigh too much and take up too much space to achieve range and payload equivalents to diesel-powered trucks, and FCEVs also refuel much faster than batteries can recharge.

The Ram 5500 HD is generally sold as a chassis cab in the U.S., making it much bigger than previous FCEV pickups. Toyota also has unveiled an FCEV pickup for European and Asian markets, but U.S. plans have not yet been disclosed.

Ram is the last of the Detroit Three pickup makers to show its EV plans. Later this year, it is expected to begin production of the Ramcharger as a 2025 model. The plug-in hybrid, with a 92-kWh battery, will go 145 miles (233 km) on a charge, but also has a V-6 gas engine which runs a generator and functions as a range extender – to an additional 545 miles (877 km).

California is moving faster to displace diesel than either the federal government or the EU, so there is a growing and significant market for both BEV and FCEV commercial vehicles emerging in that state, whose ports handle 40% of cargo imported into the U.S.

About the Author(s)

David Kiley

Senior Editor, WardsAuto

David Kiley is an award winning journalist. Prior to joining WardsAuto, Kiley held senior editorial posts at USA Today, Businessweek, AOL Autos/Autoblog and Adweek, as well as being a contributor to Forbes, Fortune, Popular Mechanics and more.

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