Historically, Chrysler corporation does not mind being late to the party. For example, the 1964 Ford Mustang kicked off the pony car wars and the Chevrolet Camaro went on sale two years later; meanwhile Dodge took its time perfecting the 1970 Challenger, one of the most iconic muscle cars ever. History is repeating itself with the Ford F-150 Lightning shaking up its segment and the quick-charging Chevy Silverado hot on its heels. So how will Ram compete? The Ram 1500 BEV may be the most revolutionary electric pickup truck yet.
|2023 Ford F-150 Lightning||2024 Chevy Silverado EV||2024 Ram 1500 BEV|
|Range Target||230 miles or 300 miles||400 miles||500 miles|
|Battery Type||Pouch style lithium-ion||Pouch style lithium-ion||Lithium-ion or solid-state|
|Battery pack||98 kWh or 131 kWh||optional 200 kW||159 kWh (200+ kWh equivalent)|
|Charging speed||up to 150 kW||up to 350 kW, 800 volt||up to 150kW|
|Horsepower||426 or 563||510 or 664||Unknown|
Stellantis is perfecting all-new battery technology
In the electric vehicle race, it may not pay to be first. Tesla launched with the most advanced battery available at the time: cylindrical lithium-ion cells. Now, companies such as Ford, and General Motors are sinking billions into optimizing liquid pouch-style lithium-ion batteries. But even these batteries may soon be outdated.
Stellantis is developing multiple new battery technologies. These include cobalt-free and high energy density batteries.
The holy grail of lithium-ion technology is a solid-state battery which would maximize energy density. At Stellantis’ “EV Day” press conference, the automaker announced that its battery technology partner–Factorial Inc.–hopes to have solid-state batteries refined by 2026.
What would this technology mean for the electric Ram pickup truck? Ford’s F-150 Lightning is targeting a base-model range of just 230 miles with an expensive battery upgrade bumping its range to 300 miles. GM took more time refining its Ultium battery technology before announcing that the Chevrolet Silverado EV will feature a 400 mile range.
If Stellantis is able to perfect a solid-state battery, the electric Ram 1500 may boast the best range of all. Ram announced its shooting for 500 miles.
Solid-state batteries may also make the electric Ram lighter than its competitors. Solid state batteries will probably be less volatile than liquid pouch batteries: they will be less likely to catch on fire in an emergency and last for up to 400,000 miles–according to GreenCars. If the second-generation of the electric Ram 1500 gets solid-state batteries, it will revolutionize the electric truck market.
Ram is happy to be a “fast-follower”
A fast-follower is a technology business that specializes in imitating the best advances in its field. A benefit of this strategy is being able to view an entire industry, choose the best advances, and then license the necessary tech.
Just as most internal combustion trucks share Dana axles and ZF transmissions, future electric trucks will likely share the best available components. Stellantis’ CEO Carlos Tavares revealed that as the electric truck field fills out, Ram is watching the competition and updating its design, “every month.” Whatever groundbreaking technologies define the Lightning and Silverado EV, Ram will be taking note.
Some of Ram’s latest technology includes 110-volt power inverters that will allow you to plug tools into the electric truck, a dual-motor AWD platform, and advanced battery management software. The electric Ram will be able to maintain and pre-condition its battery for running or charging. It will also offer “Dynamic Range Mapping” and “EV Dynamic Trip Energy Prediction.”
Renders of the Ram’s proposed chassis show independent suspension, front and rear. In addition, the truck has shock absorbers with a remote reservoir–similar to the Bilstein units under the Ram 1500 TRX.
Will Ram’s range electric paradigm breaker (REPB) vehicle change the game?
Ram is taking a realistic approach to electrification. While some automakers are promising to cease internal combustion production in the near future, Ram knows many Americans travel too far for current EV ranges. The brand is promising to offer one EV in its every market segment by 2030, but will continue to pursue longer ranges.
One technology Ram is pursuing is its solid-state battery. Another technology comes in the form of an entirely new vehicle class. In addition to the Ram 1500 battery electric vehicle (BEV), the company is planning a “range electric paradigm breaker (REPB) vehicle.
While Ram is secretive about the specifics, there’s a good chance they are working on a plug-in hybrid or an electric vehicle with a range extender. Some current electric vehicles offer an optional gasoline-powered generator mounted in the trunk, capable of recharging its batteries while on-the-go. A Ram truck with a similar feature may be the future of the truck.