Why is Ram So Late In Developing an Electric Truck?

Today, General Motors just showed how far behind Ram is in offering an all-electric truck. GM conveyed the significance with the unveiling of the Chevy Silverado electric truck. The F-150 Lightning reservations are almost burying Ford Motor Company. So where is Ram’s electric truck? 

Stellantis head Carlos Tavares thinks Ram is in a good position

Ram 1500 electric truck
2024 Ram 1500 electric truck | Stellantis

We heard some obtuse explanations from Stellantis head Carlos Tavares, but c’mon. Are there really any explanations other than the company is far behind in its electrification development? Tavares told Automotive News the day of the Silverado EV unveiling that what Ford and GM are doing is giving fodder to Stellantis engineers. 

But shouldn’t those engineers be past the point of taking notes about the competition? Obviously not. Tavares says that being delinquent allows the Stellantis engineers to make tweaks. 

Right now, Ford has a three-year backlog amounting to 200,000 reservations. The Tesla Cybertruck, probably years from being available, has over 500,000 deposits. Just this week, Tesla removed information about when the Cybertruck will begin production. This leads us to believe there will be still more delays. But that’s Tesla for you.

The Ram electric truck “is being adjusted every month”

 Ram 1500 electric truck
2024 Ram 1500 electric truck | Stellantis

Back to Ram, Tavares said that an electric Ram pickup “is being adjusted every month.” Ram is observing what the competition is doing while it mulls it over. Though it has said there will be an electric Ram in 2024, that’s what GM said about the electric Silverado today. And it has a prototype to show us right now. 

“We are preparing the EV pickup trucks for 2024, and we are doing it by adjusting the specs and adjusting the performance in function of what we see coming up from our competitors,” Tavares said in an online discussion with Morgan Stanley. “It’s a fact that we are coming slightly after them.

“But it’s also a fact that we have the opportunity to adjust the competitiveness and the appeal of our own trucks to what they are doing. It is a competitive game, which is a fantastic situation for the consumer because the real winner of this competition is the consumer.”

It gets harder to compete when you’re so far behind

 Ram 1500 electric truck
2024 Ram 1500 electric truck | Stellantis

But there is an old saying which says, “The first man gets the oyster, and the second man gets the shell.” There is always a buzz around the first of something. As competitors get farther from that first something, Ram must do something far more daring. It needs to be far more novel to garner the same attention. 

So while Tavares thinks Ram’s position puts it in a good place, history suggests it is not so good. This all reminds us of the Dodge pickup of the 1970s and 1980s. The Ram predecessor went years with the same bland pickup, while Ford and Chevy innovated. 

Both Ford and Chevy reaped the rewards for offering engaging, compelling designs and innovations, while the Dodge pickup’s sales were flat. It wasn’t until Dodge stepped forward with the 1994 pickup, reminiscent of the Power Wagons of the 1940s and 1950s, that sales were comparable to the competition. We hope to see an all-electric Ram pickup prototype in this new year.

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