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By 2025, Ram trucks will be almost unrecognizable. The automaker is getting rid of all V8 engine options. The most powerful internal combustion Ram 1500 will have a 3.0-liter turbocharged I6 (540 horsepower). But the most powerful Ram truck overall will be the 663 horsepower EV version. And one of the most unique trims of the Ram EV will be the “Ramcharger,” which has a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 to recharge its batteries. Why would Ram build a hybrid like this? Because the Ramcharger can supposedly rocket to 60 MPH in 4.4 seconds and tow 14,000 pounds while sipping less fuel than the current V6 Ram. If Ram can achieve these numbers, I suspect the future of the pickup truck will look a lot like the Ramcharger.

Electric pickup trucks have a major weakness

Silver Ram 1500 REV pickup truck driving down a desert road.
2025 Ramcharger | Stellantis

The electrification revolution is well under way. I, for one, hope we get a generation of efficient EVs that drive down the cost per mile of the average commute or roadtrip. Our current batteries (lithium-ion) make long-range EVs heavy and expensive. The best solution will prove to be a good network of DC fast-chargers, combined with relatively light short-range EVs that can recharge at 400 or even 800 volts.

Current examples include the Tesla Model 3 and Hyundai Ioniq 5, both of which offer three hours of driving time for every 30 minutes of recharging. But while the future of passengers looks to be electric, I figured pickup trucks would remain internal-combustion-powered until someone invents a lighter and cheaper battery. This is because towing can slice an electric truck’s range in half. I thought they would require an expensive, heavy battery. I figured towing on a roadtrip might require multiple hours-long charging breaks. But it looks like I was wrong.

The new electric Ram is built on a full-frame chassis which has a battery between its frame rails and an electric motor at each axle. It is pretty standard stuff, similar to Ford’s F-150 Lightning and even Tesla’s Cybertruck. What sets the Ramcharger apart is its internal-combustion-powered range extender. This is just the reliable old 3.6-liter “Pentastar” V6 in the front trunk (frunk?) connected to a generator to charge up the batteries. This V6 may be exactly what electric pickup trucks need to address their major weakness.

The Ramcharger is the future of electric pickup trucks

The exposed powertrain of a Ramcharger pickup truck which has a Ram REV electric vehicle chassis and a V6 range-extender.
Ramcharger | Stellantis

The claimed stats of the “Ramcharger” configuration of the 2025 Ram 1500 REV are impossible to ignore. Its towing capacity (like the regular EV version) is well into heavy-duty truck territory: 14,000 pounds. Its payload is 2,625 pounds. That may sound high, but remember that EVs are heavier than internal combustion vehicles so their suspension is beefier.

The 2025 Ram 1500 REV will feature one electric drive unit at each axle. The front one will shut off when you don’t need AWD. But when you need it, you have up to 663 horspower and 615 lb-ft of torque on tap. One of the great things about electric motors is that 100% of that torque is available from zero RPM. This is why the Ramcharger can make it to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds.

Locomotives are already taking advantage of similar technology. A train has a diesel engine that may make 5,000 horsepower or more. That’s enough to tear up most any transmission. So a diesel locomotive’s engine is just connected to a generator which feeds juice to an electric drive unit at its wheels. While the Ramcharger has a gasoline engine and a lithium-ion battery to hold extra juice, you could argue that it is more like current locomotives than current trucks.

Will the combustion ban kill the Ramcharger?

There is no word yet whether future EPA emissions guidelines will allow range-extended EVs, such as the Ram 1500 Ramcharger.

Silver Ram 1500 electric pickup truck parked in a desert.
2025 Ramcharger | Stellantis

Multiple states are copying California’s combustion ban. Certain U.S. cities are even banning combustion. The wording of these laws usually limits what dealerships can carry on their laws, and none are going into effect sooner than 2030. But the threat of a combustion ban looms in the near future.

Its a fact that an internal-combution-powered-generator produces emissions. So it wouldn’t be exempt from a full emissions ban. But another fact is that many folks in the U.S. often need to drive, and to tow, longer distances than current EVs can handle. Ram/Stellantis’ CEO worries that combustion bans may be hasty.

I’ve long argued that we would reduce carbon emissions more if we made every vehicle with some electric range today, rather than requiring 0% emissions in a decade. The average American only drives 29.2 miles a day. So hybrids, such as the Ramcharger with its 140-miles of all electric range, could eliminate the vast majority of emissions. And trucks such as the Ramcharger could solve this problem while not leaving Americans who sometimes need to tow long distances up a creek without a paddle.

Read more about my alternative to the combustion ban, or see the 2025 Ramcharger reveal for yourself in the video below: