Stellantis’ Ram brand has been hinting for several years that while there may be a fully electric truck in the future, it sees a plug-in hybrid truck as part of the plan, too.
With the debut of the Ram 1500 Revolution Concept at CES on Thursday, and the confirmation that a production version will bow within months and be delivered in 2024, the EV is now a given. Ram CEO Mike Koval confirmed to Green Car Reports that the the plug-in hybrid has a place on the brand’s timeline, as well.
“Let’s face it, it’s going to have white-knuckle performance in terms of acceleration and horsepower,” Koval said of the electric truck. “The driving dynamics and characteristics are phenomenal.”
That said, Koval was quick to admit that there’s a sticking point for electric trucks.
“Let’s call out the elephant in the room, and that’s real world range, especially under towing,” he said. “So when we talk about the Range Extended Paradigm Breaker (REPB)…it will carry all of those characteristics that are outlined but will also provide class-leading real-world range.”
Offering a plug-in hybrid as part of the Ram truck lineup will help distinguish it from Ford, Chevy, GMC, and Toyota, Koval argued.
“When I talk about the portfolio of solutions—the optionality—that’s really what’s going to help differentiate Ram within the segment,” he said.
What Ram hasn’t yet explained is whether such a plug-in hybrid truck will look like the traditional gasoline pickup or the radically different Ram 1500 Revolution Concept. If it’s any hint, a 2021 teaser showed the REPB following a futuristic profile that looks more like that of the concept truck.
The layout of the PHEV truck hasn’t yet been detailed either. But in 2020, head of global propulsion Micky Bly suggested that it had a good set of building blocks with the plug-in hybrid system featured in the Jeep Wrangler 4xe and Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe—a system that might be applied to other trucks in the automaker’s roster.
Meanwhile, Koval explained that electrified members of the Ram family won’t mean compromise.
“This truck still has to do truck things. Electrification cannot be a limitation. I can’t stress that enough,” he said. “Our customers are willing to come with us, but they do not want to sacrifice, they do not want to compromise on those core attributes.”
Koval said that starting with the Ram BEV there will be a full suite of electrified solutions “able to push past what our competitors have announced in terms of performance, towing, range, charge time, as well as payload.”
Although the fully electric truck may not be at the top in all of those categories versus gasoline models, Ram may end up showing, in a way that other vehicle makers haven’t, that daily electric driving and weekend towing aren’t mutually exclusive.
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