At the New York auto show this week, Ram was jumping up and down with joy about the Dodge Ram REV electric pickup truck coming in 2025. Its specs are truly astounding. The truck will be available with two batteries — one rated at 168 kWh with an estimated range of 350 miles and the other rated at a staggering 229 kWh with an estimated range of 500 miles. The company says its new groundpounder will have a maximum payload of 2,700 pounds and be capable of towing 14,000 pounds. It will also be able to add up to 110 miles of range in approximately 10 minutes with 800 volt DC fast charging at up to 350 kW.
That all sounds great. The vehicles these trucks will replace are almost all powered by diesel engines, with all the fine particulate and oxides of nitrogen emissions associated with them. There are people who tow horse trailers and backhoes who will appreciate having a battery-electric pickup option and there are those who haul a load of concrete pipe or 50 bales of hay on a regular basis who will now be able to go about their daily business without leaving harmful emissions behind in their wake.
The Ram 1500 REV & Wretched Excess
But there’s another aspect to this that is a little less wonderful. One, 229 kWh is an awfully big battery to be lugging around every day. Two, there is a question whether such an enormous battery is an appropriate use of scarce resources at a time when the CEO of Stellantis — which is the parent company of Ram — is warning anyone who will listen that there are not enough supplies of lithium, nickel, and cobalt available in the world to meet the demand for electric vehicles.
Three, there is a provision in the Inflation Reduction Act for a $40,000 tax credit for any electric vehicle that has a GVWR of more than 14,000 pounds. It is possible that the Ram 1500 REV when fully optioned will meet or exceed that limit, which means there will be plenty of urban cowboys who will get $40,000 from Uncle Sugar to drive around in one of these beasts to impress the neighbors and drinking buddies down at the Dew Drop Inn. Might those federal dollars be better spent making it possible for people of modest means to afford an electric car?
Those are policy considerations that have little to do with us ordinary citizens, but a few months ago a writer I hold in the highest regard speculated that it would be only a matter of time before the $40,000 commercial tax credit was used as an excuse to build ridiculously heavy vehicles for the well-heeled to drive to their local big box building supply store to buy a box of 12d nails or a 2X4. It seems that day got here sooner than anyone anticipated. Sure, the credit is confined to businesses and nonprofit organizations, but any fool with an internet connection and credit card can set themselves up in business in a matter of minutes. The possibilities for abuse of the tax credit are rampant.
In New York, Mike Koval, CEO of the Ram brand, said, “The all electric Ram 1500 REV is a monumental milestone on our continued journey to offer the industry’s best electrified solutions and further fortifies our award-winning lineup. We believe in bringing the right range of powertrain solutions to our customers and will continue to redefine the pickup truck segment. Our all-new Ram 1500 REV pushes past the competition in areas customers care about most, including range, towing, payload, and charge time.”
Ram 1500 REV Features Galore
The Ram 1500 REV will offer customers vehicle to vehicle, vehicle to home, and vehicle to grid bi-directional charging. An onboard power panel in the bed can provide up to 7.2 kW, while an available onboard power panel in the 15 cu. ft power operated frunk provides up to 3.6 kW. The truck will have 654 horsepower and 620 lb-ft of torque — enough to propel it to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. It will be able to drive through 24 inches of standing water, the company says, and will be offered in 5 trim levels — Tradesman, Big Horn/Lone Star, Laramie, Limited, and the all new Tungsten.
The Ram 1500 REV delivers a new level of performance with dual 250 kW electric drive modules that combine the motor, gearbox, and inverter in one unit. The front EDM features an automatic disconnect feature that allows the front wheels to spin freely in certain conditions to maximize efficiency. A second EDM is positioned on the rear axle, which will be available with an electronically operated locking rear differential. The truck uses a dedicated ladder frame and is fitted with a multi-link independent rear suspension with standard air suspension with adaptive damping. An aero panel runs the length of the truck to smooth airflow, resulting in a coefficient of drag of .340. Ram is very proud of that achievement.
Autonomous vehicle capabilities include Hands-free Active Driving Assist and ParkSense Automated Parking System. Active Driving Assist is available for hands-on-wheel/eyes-on-road and hands-free/eyes-on-road automated driving using lane centering with adaptive cruise control. The system uses multiple sensors, including radars and cameras, to dictate appropriate roads for the technology Uconnect 5 system with a new 14.5-inch touchscreen, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a segment-first 10.25-inch passenger screen, digital rearview mirror, Head-up Display (HUD), and a Klipsch Reference Premiere audio system.
The electric pickup from Ram will feature the latest, most advanced Uconnect system ever with a 12 or new 14.5 inch touchscreen display and intuitive user experience. The Uconnect 5 system offers even more connected services and features for unmatched ease of use. A power/charge bar chart shows energy consumption and regeneration in current, weekly, two-week and four-week intervals
The full color HUD display is configurable up to 10 inches and offers several different content areas at once, including Lane Departure, Lane Keep Assist, adaptive cruise control, turn-by-turn navigation, current speed, current gear, and speed limit. All HUD settings can be personalized and saved within the driver profiles.
Tailored to the Ram 1500 REV’s battery-electric capabilities, the 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster includes a new screen that shows charge schedule (estimated charge times for both Level 1 and Level 2 chargers and one pedal driving). Nearly two dozen different menus are offered, including driver assist technologies such as adaptive cruise control, active driving assist, drowsy driver detection, and speed limit traffic signs display. Using the Ram app, drivers can access and operate the vehicle using only their smartphone.
The Ram 1500 REV is a beast no matter how you look at it. Then again, so are the Ford F-150 Lightning, the Chevy Silverado EV, and the GMC Hummer. It’s as if the manufacturers are saying, “Supply chain issues? What supply chain issues?” The one thing that is for certain sure is that no one is afraid of the Tesla Cybertruck. All these new electric pickup trucks look like bulked up versions of their conventional pickup truck cousins. In the truck business, nothing succeeds like excess.
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