Ram Is Open to Building an Electric Pickup, But Only Under Certain Circumstances

Ram has finally broken the silence on its electrification strategy. At a time when electrification is taking over the pickup truck segment by storm, Ram had been awfully quiet on this subject. There are a lot of new automakers in this segment who are looking to take on the Big Three players with electric pickup trucks. Ford and Chevy are also working on them, but what about Ram?

We didn’t know so far, but now we do. Ram has said that it is very much in the game, but has “different view of timing and adoption rates”. Is this a smart move or will Ram pay for being a late entrant to the market?

Ford, Chevrolet, and Ram Will Face Fierce Competition

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Pickup trucks are the best-sellers in the North American market for as long as one can remember. So, truck manufacturers must also start building EVs at some point. The Big Three truckmakers – Ford, Chevrolet, and Ram – have dominated the truck market for a long time and no other automaker has been able to make a successful entry into this segment. Electrification, however, opened some gates and new companies grabbed onto this opportunity with both hands.

There are already a lot of electric startups making noise. We have Tesla with the Cybertruck, Rivian with the R1T, GMC’s reincarnated Hummer badge, and some other new products like the Lordstown Endurance, Bollinger B2, Nikola Badger, and so on.
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This prompted the mainstream truckmakers to get on board before they lose to these newcomers. While Ford and Chevy jumped ship, Ram was still nowhere in the picture. Ford is debuting the hybrid F-150 and is working on the electric F-150, and Chevy’s electric Silverado is also in the works. However, there was no word from Ram on this and it looked like the company was not moving forward. But, it recently cleared the air and has given us some hopes.

What Does Ram Have To Say?

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Mike Manley, CEO of Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), told &euroThe Detroit Newshttps://www.detroitnews.com/story/b..., "The reason we haven’t spoken much about electric pickup trucks is not because we view that market as non-existent. We’ve always had a slightly different view of timing and adoption rates, particularly in North America in terms of full electrification. We are very committed to our electrification strategy — most of which we have revealed."

Ram could be onto something here. Despite the advent of so many electric pickup manufacturers, there is not a single production-spec electric truck on sale today. They will bombard the market in a year or two – the timeframe where most of them plan to have their products out – but, it seems too early to determine what customers are looking for from these big, silent workhorses.

Will This Move Pay Off?

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As of 2019, EVs represent just 1.6-percent of the overall sales and they are still not widely accepted by customers. With companies spending billions of dollars just to get a head start in this niche segment, will it pay off in the long run? Most of the automakers believe in it, but Ram seems to be thinking differently here. Perhaps, gauging the market to see what customers are expecting from electric pickup trucks and getting the formula right in its first attempt could give Ram more credibility and make it a ‘desirable’ electric pickup truck brand. But, with that said, it takes years to develop a truck from scratch, especially when a brand doesn’t have a lot of technical know-how to back it up.

Final Thoughts

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FCA isn’t a pioneer in the electric niche yet, or even in the top few, for that matter. It has a few plug-in hybrids across the portfolio, but nothing to really show-off about. It seems like Maserati could spearhead the electrification for the group, but it is nowhere close to pickup trucks.

In Ram’s defense, Manley said, "We haven’t revealed everything. But, obviously pickup trucks are a key franchise for us, and we’re not going to sit on the sidelines if there is a danger that our position gets diluted going forward." Well, Ram at least acknowledged that it is aware of what’s going in the market; something that it has been mum about all this while.

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Do you think Ram is already working on a pure electric pickup truck and could have it out by the time Ford and Chevy release their respective electric trucks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

2020 Ram 1500 specifications
ENGINE 3.6-­LITER PENTASTAR V-­6 WITH eTORQUE 5.7-­LITER HEMI® V-­8 5.7-­LITER HEMI® V-­8 eTORQUE
Type and Description 60-­degree V-­type, liquid-­cooled 90-­degree V-­8, liquid-­cooled 90-­degree V-­8, liquid-­cooled
Displacement 220 cu. in. (3,604 cu. cm) 345 cu. in. (5,654 cu. cm) 345 cu. in. (5,654 cu. cm)
Bore x Stroke 3.78 x 3.27 (96.0 x 83.0) 3.92 x 3.58 (99.5 x 90.9) 3.92 x 3.58 (99.5 x 90.9)
Compression Ratio 11.3:1 10.5:1 10.5:1
Power 305 HP @ 6,400 RPM 395 HP @ 5,600 RPM 395 HP @ 5,600 RPM
Torque 269 LB-FT @ 4,800 RPM 410 LB-FT @ 3,950 RPM 410 LB-FT @ 3,950 RPM
Max. Engine Speed 6,400 RPM (electronically limited) 5,800 RPM 5,800 RPM
Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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