Now in its fifth generation, the Ram line of pickup trucks began as the Dodge Ram way back in 1981. The “Dodge” name was dropped when RAM converted to its own brand in 2010, and the rest, as you know, is , history. Today, Ram is the last major Detroit automaker without an electric pickup in its lineup, so their concept dubbed the Ram 1500 Revolution BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle), better live up to the hype!
Fortunately, the wait to find out is almost over. After disappointing fans with a false start at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, Ram recently announced that the concept will debut at a special event on January 5 at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Styling will be distinctive
While concrete details are scarce, Aries has released a steady stream of teaser images over the past year and most recently a video on Dec. 6. In the video, there’s a brief glimpse of the front of the truck, with an oversized Ram logo in the center of where the grill would be on an internal combustion engine truck and chunky LED strips around the headlights. Another new image from the Ram website shows illuminated “RAM” decals on the front doors, a lower roofline and vertical LED strip taillights that are decidedly different from the Ram 1500 currently on sale.
These clues indicate that Ram is clearly moving in a direction similar to that of the Chevrolet Silverado EV versus the F-150 Lightning. While Ford’s award-winning EV pickup looks very similar to a normal F-150, the Silverado EV is immediately distinguishable from its internal combustion engine siblings. Another interesting visual cue is two sleek video cameras that replace side mirrors to reduce drag. This is a nice feature, but one that probably won’t see production because the technology isn’t legal in the United States yet.
What’s under that smooth skin?
The Stellantis STLA frame that will support the Revolution EV truck.
The Ram Revolution will feature a traditional body-on-frame architecture, riding on the new STLA frame from Stellantis (RAM’s parent company), a platform the manufacturer plans to use for everything from light commercial vehicles to heavy-duty pickups. Stellantis states that this platform will have the battery sitting low in the frame for stability and will be capable of 500 miles of EV range from a 200-kilowatt-hour battery.
While Ram hasn’t yet shared powertrain specs, they have said they will “go beyond what competitors have announced”. Assuming Ram sees “competitors” as other full-size pickups on the market, the GMC Sierra EV to beat with 754 horsepower and 785 pound-feet of torque.
A shot of a clay model of the upcoming 2024 Ram Revolution all-electric pickup
Reading between the lines, Stellantis confirmed at its 2021 EV Day presentation that the STLA frame will accommodate up to three of the new EDM power modules, capable of 443 horsepower. each.
So if the Ram Revolution is equipped with two of the power modules as standard equipment, that would translate to about 885 horsepower. This would also make the Revolution more powerful than Ram’s own muscle truck, the TRX, which generates 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque from a supercharged 6.2L internal combustion engine.
Mopar insiders suggests that using all available space for an optional three-motor system may also be offered for the Revolution. Doing a quick math, that would total over 1,300 horsepower, which is more than the three-engined GMC Hummer EV SUT with its 1,000 horsepower. This would make the three-motor Ram Revolution the most powerful EV truck on the market, whether your definition of “truck” includes SUTs or SUVs.
A gasoline engine may still be involved
Aries CEO Mike Koval Jr. has said the automaker plans to offer a range-extender version alongside the all-electric Ram pickup. While details are sketchy, the truck is expected to be based on the EV Ram, but with a small additional petrol engine.
Gasoline range extenders haven’t been very popular with consumers in other vehicles so far, but adding them to EV pickups could be a legitimate stopgap solution for towing and hauling heavy loads until EV technology improves to the point where they don’t are needed longer.
Consider the embarrassing situation when a popular YouTuber’s Ford F150 Lightning was only able to tow a 3,500-pound trailer less than 100 miles before dying. Even though a range extender wouldn’t be a 100 percent “zero emissions” solution for Ram, it would still be greener than current Ram 1500 owners driving around with a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 that gets 17 mpg. However, I will miss that unmistakable V-8 exhaust note.