The new Ram pickup has a gas-powered electric generator

  • Stellantis plans to produce an industry-first pickup truck for its Ram Trucks brand equipped with a gas engine and electric generator.
  • The truck can operate as a zero-emission electric vehicle until the vehicle’s battery dies, and an on-board generator — powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine — powers the vehicle after its initial charge.
  • Ram CEO Tim Kuniskis calls the new Ram 1500 Ramcharger pickup truck “the ultimate answer to battery-electric trucks.”

2025 Ram 1500 Ram Charger Tungsten

ram

DETROIT – Automaker Stellantis plans to produce the industry’s first electric pickup truck called the Ram 1500 Ramcharger equipped with an electric generator and gas engine.

If that sounds like an oxymoron, here’s how it works: The truck can operate as a zero-emissions electric vehicle until its battery dies, and an on-board generator — powered by a 27-gallon, 3.6-liter V6 engine — kicks in to power the wagon.

The result is a truck that has the advantages of an electric vehicle, such as quick acceleration and some emissions-free driving, without the range concerns synonymous with most current electric vehicles, according to Ram CEO Tim Kuniskis.

“This is the ultimate solution for the battery-powered electric truck,” Kuniskis told reporters at an event. “No one has ever had anything else like it.” “This will be a game-changer for battery electric trucks.”

The 2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger is expected to go on sale in late 2024 alongside the previously revealed all-electric Ram 1500 truck without a gas engine or range-extending electric generator.

Stellantis estimates the Ramcharger’s range at up to 690 miles, including up to 145 miles powered by a 92-kilowatt-hour battery when fully charged without extended power from the gas engine and a 130-kilowatt electric generator.

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This range compares to up to 500 miles of expected range for the all-electric Ram 1500 REV pickup truck. It also beats the current Ram 1500, which has a 3.6-liter V6 and a 26-gallon tank for a total range of 546 miles, according to US Environmental Protection Agency.

Stellantis has not announced pricing for the Ramcharger, which was revealed Tuesday as part of a redesign of the current gasoline-powered Ram 1500 pickup trucks for the 2025 model year.

Kuniskis said the Ramcharger is intended to serve as a bridge between traditional internal combustion engine trucks and all-electric trucks, which currently face significant hurdles in terms of charging infrastructure and range anxiety, especially when the vehicles are towing — the main reason to buy a truck.

Such improvements can serve as a brand differentiator, according to Stephanie Brinley, associate director of S&P Global Mobility’s AutoIntelligence division.

“It addresses the fact that the industry and the van sector in particular are not currently ready to transition to 100% electric vehicles,” she said. “It addresses some of the performance and range concerns, and it’s powerful. But the hard part is getting consumers to really understand what it does.”

2025 Ram 1500 Ram Charger Tungsten

ram

Similar propulsion technology — referred to as extended-range electric vehicles, or EREVs — is available in overseas markets, specifically China. It was also similarly introduced in cars such as GM’s discontinued Chevrolet Volt sedan.

The main difference between the Ramcharger and Volt technology is that the truck is propelled exclusively by electric motors, not the car’s engine, once the battery is dead, Stellantis engineers said. Its first application is also expected to be in a full-size pickup truck.

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The Ramcharger boasts 663 horsepower and 615 pound-feet of torque and can do 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds, Stellantis said. The company said that the truck will be capable of two-way charging, with the vehicle acting as a generator to power appliances or even the entire home.

Kuniskis, who also leads Dodge’s Stellantis brand, declined to comment on whether the Ramcharger technology will be used in other vehicles. Other Stellantis brands include Chrysler, Jeep and Fiat in the United States

The Ramcharger works differently from current plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, or PHEVs, which provide a combination of all-electric driving, followed by a motor that powers the car after the battery is discharged.

Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis unveils the Charger Daytona SRT electric muscle car on August 17, 2022 in Pontiac, Michigan.

Michael Wayland/CNBC

“The Ramcharger is not a PHEV,” Kuniskis said. “It’s a battery-electric truck with its own high-speed charger.”

“There is no connection between the engine and the wheels,” he said. “The gas generator is only there to charge the battery.”

Ram’s truck strategy differs from its leading competitors General Motors and Ford Motor Company. The latter offers conventional, hybrid and fully electric versions of its full-size F-150 truck, while General Motors said it plans to move from conventional trucks to electric trucks without using hybrid trucks.

Stellantis currently offers PHEV versions of vehicles such as the Chrysler Pacifica minivan, Jeep Wrangler and Grand Cherokee SUVs.

The Ram Charger’s design represents a mix between the all-electric Ram 1500 REV and updated gas versions of traditional trucks, which will be available early next year.

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The Ramcharger includes illuminated lines across its headlight grille, new badges debuting on the all-electric truck and other design and interface elements between the two.

For traditional Ram 1500 models, the biggest change is that the company is ditching the popular Hemi V-8 engine. The current 5.7-liter Hemi engine available in the truck will be replaced by a twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine called the Hurricane.

Ram’s 2023 Super Bowl ad debuts the production version of the Ram 1500 REV electric pickup truck that’s expected to go on sale in late 2024.

Screenshot

“Some customers will be upset about not having a Hemi in there,” Kuniskis said. “Sure, the Hemi is an absolute legend. Americans love the Hemi, but this thing outperforms the Hemi.”

The Hurricane’s 3.0-liter engine is rated at 420 hp and 469 lb-ft of torque, while the high-output version of the engine is rated at 540 hp and 521 lb-ft of torque. That compares to the current V-8 Hemi with 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque.

In-line or six-cylinder engines have been used in American cars by automakers such as BMW and Jaguar, however, they are far from mainstream in the United States.

Other changes to the trucks include a new luxury model called the Tungsten and a performance variant called the RHO to replace Ram’s high-performance TRX pickup truck equipped with a 6.2-liter Hemi V8 capable of 702 horsepower and 650 foot-pounds of torque.

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