Ram CEO Mike Koval Jr says a extended range Ram 1500 EV will launch alongside the standard range truck in 2024.
Ram CEO Mike Koval reveals that the full-electric Ram 1500 coming in 2024 will be accompanied by a range-extended hybrid version of the same truck.
Ram is making a big deal about the full-electric Ram 1500 coming in 2024, as well it should. It will be a major competitor to the Ford F-150 Lightning and Chevy Silverado EV, and it will have an interesting development process with input from Ram fans. An all-electric model would generally be big enough product news, but it's getting an interesting addition: a range-extender model.
We learned this in an interview with Ram CEO Mike Koval Jr. He noted that it will be a part of Ram trying to respond to customer interests and concerns, as well as offering more than expected. He didn't go into detail about the powertrain, but it will launch alongside the electric model in 2024. It sounded as though it will be based on the electric truck, but with some sort of gasoline engine to provide power. It's not clear if it would be a pure series hybrid a la BMW i3, or if the engine would engage the wheels to provide some propulsion.
We think there's one big area where this powertrain makes sense: towing. While capable of towing huge amounts, electric vehicles tend to lose a drastic amount of range when towing. And especially with an underdeveloped charging network, it would make towing any distance frustrating — and a big issue, when towing is a big reason for owning a large truck. Introducing an internal combustion engine for occasional towing would mean that a Ram buyer could have a much more efficient experience, and still have full EV capability when not towing.
I always believed the Chevy Volt was an incredible concept, but poorly marketed. Have 35-50 miles of Electric Only Range with a gas backup for long trips was near perfect. Most people drive less than 50 miles a day and would never use gas.
If Dodge could produce a true plug-in hybrid that had roughly 100 miles of all electric range with a similar gas backup source, I think it would be a home run. Most would never use gas. However, could then also be practical for longer distance travel and towing With it being a truck, should be plenty of space to put in enough batteries for a 100 miles in electric only range. Sacrifice the frunk, but gain the one thing that turns most off from EV's, practical long distance and/or towing range. No clog ups at public chargers. The added charging time of spending 45-60 minutes charging versus a 5 minute fill-up is the biggest turn-off, combined with range anxiety. Puts an end to both.
Many that own EV's often rent an ICE vehicle for their towing or long distance travel needs. This would save that hassle.
The only reason for needing so many batteries in EV's today is to satisfy the less than 5% of driving most people do. Such a waste of resources for something only to be used less than 5% of the time. And even an EV with 300+ miles of range, a large majority still won't be convinced to make the switch.
Problem with most plug-ins to date has been that most only have 20 miles or less in EV Only range. If Dodge, or anyone else offered 100 miles in EV Only range, it would satisfy 99% of people's daily driving needs. Give all the benefits of EV ownership without sacrificing long distance capability. While most manufacturers will continue for a while building BOTH EV's and ICE vehicles, an offering such as this could save them a fortune in not having to build two separate vehicles. There would be very little reason, for people to not want such a vehicle that effectively can be both. Producing only one version would reduce manufacturer costs, thus reducing cost to consumers to be competitive with pricing of today's existing ICE vehicles selling today.
Sadly, Ford already has the tech to do so, yet doesn't. Why can't they add a few batteries to the hybrid with a plug-in port? They can. But, until now, most didn't manufacturers didn't want to sell EV's due to reduced service needs, which is what most dealers survive on.
Sadly, the F-150 Lightning with 300 miles in range will still only make up 10% of their truck sales. (900,000 vehicles sold last year, with only about 70,000 EV's to be produced per year. Of the 10% that does purchase one, they'll use the 300 miles in range maybe once or twice a year. The rest of the time, they'll use less than 100 miles per day. Bump up the hybrid version to be a plug-in with 100 miles EV only, done deal. Everyone satisfied, other than a few true blood tree hugger that simply refuse to pollute the plan with emissions. If competitively priced, Ram or F-150 or Silverado, such capabilities would make up 80% of their sales. Take away the ICE only option and 89% will make the switch. The other 1% are just being ignorantly stubborn "because it's different". The last 10% can still purchase the EV only Lightning.