We already knew Ram was working on an electric pickup with a gasoline range extender, but I'm not sure anyone expected this. It's like a 2025 Ram 1500 REV, just with a V6 under the hood that isn't connected to the wheels at all. Instead, it sends juice to a 130-kilowatt generator which then feeds two electric motors—one up front, and one out back. The result is a heavy-hitting truck with 663 horsepower, 615 pound-feet of torque, and a 690-mile range.
Oh, and it's called the Ramcharger.
All that might sound confusing, so let me break it down. The truck's drivetrain is electric, taking power from a 92-kilowatt-hour battery that's mounted under the floor. That battery is charged up by a 3.6-liter V6, much like the one you'd find in a low-spec Ram 1500. The gasoline power plant engages as needed, running at a constant rpm since it isn't correlated to the truck's acceleration. It's able to go way longer between fuel-ups as a result, and the Ramcharger also gets away with a smaller battery pack than others in the space. For reference, the top-spec Ram 1500 REV has a 229-kWh battery that's nearly 2.5 times the size and manages "just" 500 miles of range.
While the Ramcharger does receive electricity via the onboard generator, it can also utilize 400-volt DC fast charging at speeds up to 145 kilowatts. It also has bi-directional charging capabilities, meaning it can power your house or another EV. Total available power is 7.2 kilowatts, or enough to power an entire mobile restaurant including a fridge and stove.
Ram equips the electrified truck with a 250-kilowatt front drive unit and a 238-kW rear drive unit. Each one combines the motor, gearbox, and converter in a package that's fairly compact. The front drive unit can also be automatically disengaged to lower rolling resistance, aiding range and temporarily turning it into a rear-wheel-drive machine.
Ram is insistent that this is a battery-electric truck, not a hybrid, but I'll let you make that call on your own. Regardless, the total output figures of 663 hp and 615 lb-ft of torque speak for themselves. They apparently help the Ramcharger hit 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds. While that might not matter to every truck owner, the work capacities surely will. Ram estimates a max tow limit of 14,000 pounds and a payload rating of up to 2,625 pounds.
The Ramcharger's STLA Frame architecture is what enables it to get so much work done. It's a fairly tradition body-on-frame design, only with a dedicated space to mount the battery pack. The Ram 1500 REV, which doesn't use a gasoline range extender, is built on the very same platform. STLA Frame is super modular, and more body-on-frame Stellantis models will surely switch over to it. Does that mean we'll see other trucks or SUVs with a gas range extender? Hmm.
Thankfully, Ram is selling the truck in several trims, including the base spec Tradesman, Bighorn, Laramie, Limited, and the new top-grade Tungsten. Each one comes standard with multi-link independent air suspension at all four corners. The interiors offer different levels of fancy, and the snazziest trucks get a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, a 14.5-inch Uconnect 5 infotainment screen, and even a 10.25-inch screen directly in front of the passenger.
Pricing hasn't been announced and likely won't be until closer to the late 2024 launch date. We'll be waiting a while for the Ramcharger to hit the road. Still, it'll be interesting to see how people respond to a truck that's sort of an EV, sort of not. Ram is billing it as the solution to "premature electrification" which, while a borderline crude marketing slogan, isn't the worst idea considering our country's infrastructure.
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