LAS VEGAS – When Stellantis introduces the Ram 1500 BEV later this year as a ’24 model, it will be the third entry among the major truck brands to launch a battery-electric version.
Because it is trailing Ford and General Motors into the BEV pickup market, the Franco-American automaker looks to make a splash by beating Ford and General Motors with a class-leading range of 500 miles (805 km) – assuming neither big truck competitor increases range before the Ram goes on sale.
Besides the range advantage over its Detroit Three rivals, the electric Ram also is expected eventually to have a hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain for its heavy-duty fleet version.
Foreshadowing the future of electrified Ram vehicles, the automaker introduces the Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept here at CES.
“The Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept is our clearest signal yet that we’re on the precipice of something extraordinary at Ram and points directly to where we’re going on our electrified journey,” says Ram brand CEO Mike Koval Jr.
The Ram 1500 BEV’s launch puts it behind the Ford F-150 Lightning, Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV, the GMC Hummer EV and the Rivian R1T. But being first at this stage of the BEV era is not as crucial to sales and pickup brand loyalty as getting the truck right. And Ram’s superior range expectations could easily be what sways truck buyers.
Ram's BEV concept rides on the new STLA architecture featuring two electric-drive-modules that provide all-wheel drive. STLA also supports the Ram 1500 light-duty BEV and a Ram heavy-duty electric truck, including a fleet variant that uses a fuel cell to generate energy to run the motors. A range extender is being offered as well, which Ram calls the Range.
Electric Paradigm Breaker
Electric motors front and back provide all-wheel-drive capability. Battery packs range up to 200 kWh to provide the 500 miles of range, and the 800V architecture speeds up the charging. Stellantis says it will make up for its lateness to market with class-leading towing, payload, range and charging time.
Ram, like Ford, is offering the BEV pickup on a conventional body-on-frame construction with standard all-wheel drive. The automaker says it is certifying the BEV truck to tow more than 10,000 pounds (4,536 kg), slightly more than the Lightning, Silverado and Sierra. Fast-charging speeds of up to 150 kWh and a Level 2+ autonomous-driving feature also will be offered.
The Ram Revolution concept also has a Level 3+ autonomous mode with a retractable steering wheel that gives the driver more room.
Other key features of the Ram Revolution:
- A new exterior design that the company says defines the Ram language going forward.
- Grand saloon style doors that open on to a cavernous interior with no B-pillar.
- New interior layout featuring a removable center console.
- Third-row jump seats.
- Powered mid-gate that allows for folding the jump seats flat, removing the lower section and providing a pass-through all the way to the frunk allowing stowing objects up to 18 feet (5.5 m) long.
- Ability to add 100 miles (161 km) of range in about 10 minutes with 800V DC fast charging at up to 350 kW.
- Four-wheel steering with up to 15° of articulation.
- Powered tailgate.
- Full glass roof with adjustable opaqueness.
- Flat top and bottom collapsible steering wheel offering hand grips with capacitive controls.
- An artificial-intelligence-powered virtual assistant with a 3D Ram Avatar that enhances the user interface.
- Shadow-Mode that allows the vehicle to automatically follow the driver walking ahead at a slow speed when the driver is performing functions such as picking up tools or supplies and doesn’t want to get in and out of the truck.
- An augmented reality head-up display.
- Smart Home Control that allows driver to control home settings from the infotainment screen.
- Exterior projector: Multiple built-in projectors that communicate information to the user, as well as double as a mobile movie theater.