Does Ram Make A Hybrid Pickup Truck?
There are multiple hybrid pickup trucks on the market, including Ford’s Maverick and PowerBoost F-150 as well as the Toyota Tundra with the new i-FORCE MAX V6. Ram has been offering its eTorque regenerative braking system since 2018, but this powertrain is only classified as a “mild hybrid.”
Is the Ram 1500 eTorque a hybrid?
Ram’s eTorque system adds regenerative braking to the truck’s V6 and V8 powertrains–it is absolutely a hybrid setup. That said, because of where its electric motor is placed, it is only considered a “mild” hybrid system.
Hybrid systems include two power sources, usually a gas engine and an electric motor. When you tap your brakes, the electric motor turns into a generator, creates drag, and charges the batteries. Then when you hit the gas, this motor uses that stored energy to help you accelerate.
Different hybrid systems are classified by where the electric motor is placed in the drivetrain. This may sound like a technicality, but it can affect how much regenerative braking the system can contribute. For example, Ram’s eTorque system combines the gasoline engine’s generator and starter into a single unit, attached to the motor by a serpentine belt.
Ram’s eTorque motor placement limits how much power the motor can contribute to either acceleration or braking. It does not do nearly as much regenerative braking as other hybrids with an electric motor sandwiched between the engine and transmission or driving an entire axle.
Is Ram eTorque any good?
The Ram eTorque system does an excellent job adding several mpg to stop/go driving. It does this without changing the basic dynamics of the truck’s internal combustion drivetrain that Ram fans have come to love.
In practice, the Ram eTorque system smooths out the truck’s existing automatic start/stop function. This improves the driving experience while helping with fuel efficiency during city driving.
Ram includes the eTorque mild hybrid system on every V6-equipped 1500. But buyers choosing to upgrade to the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 can choose to opt for eTorque or not. A 2WD HEMI-powered Ram without the mild hybrid system gets 15 city/22 highway mpg (17 combined) according to FuelEconomy.gov.
If you upgrade the same truck with the eTorque system, you can expect 18 city/23 highway mpg (20 combined).
How much does eTorque cost?
One of the major benefits of eTorque is that it does not cost anything. That’s right, the cost of V8 Ram and eTorque V8 Ram is exactly the same. And the EPA suspects the hybrid system could save you almost $3,000 in gasoline over three years.
The Toyota Tundra i-FORCE MAX system may be capable of more aggressive regenerative braking than Ram’s eTorque, but the hybrid Tundra option is a $3400 upgrade. The price of Ford’s PowerBoost upgrade changes depending on trim level: it slides from $2,500 up to $4,995.
Learn about the upcoming NASCAR eTorque debut or watch a buyer’s guide to the Ram eTorque in the video below: