RAM’s EV will be built around its core values: Durability and Capabilityby Sidd Dhimaan, on LISTEN 08:33
Ram officially announced the electric 1500 a couple of weeks back without a whole lot of details. Ram’s parent company, Stellantis, celebrated an EV Day earlier this month wherein announced EVs from Dodge and Jeep, and of course, Ram. The 1500 EV’s production is slated to commence in 2024, but this could give it an edge over its rivals – which arrive earlier – as Ram can study the market better and come up with a well-rounded product right from the launch.
In fact, Ram also resonates with this and is confident of coming up with a truck that will be better than the Ford F-150 Lightning and the electric Chevy Silverado. The company’s brand marketing head noted that the electric 1500 won’t be a compromise. Well, if it’s arriving that late, we really hope it won’t in any aspect.
’Capability’ and ‘Durability’ Will Remain The Core Attributes
It’s good to see Ram focus on the core attributes of a truck. Electric trucks are more performance-oriented than being strong on the capability front. The debate on whether electric trucks will ever be as effective as fuel-powered truckshas been put to rest by Ram for now; at least in theory.
Carl Lally, Ram’s Brand Marketing Senior Manager, spoke to Automotive News and said,
"What we've heard from our consumers is that they're not looking for a compromised truck solution, so really, some of the core attributes that we communicate to our customers about our trucks, the capability and the durability, those aren't going to change, I think, as you look forward to an EV-oriented truck product.”
What Should Ram Do To Differentiate The 1500 EV From Its Rivals
The statement by Carl Lally assures that Ram 1500 EV will not be yet another truck that can do 0-60 mph sprints in under five seconds. So, Ram should instead focus on offering a truck with a decent range even when towing at maximum capacity. It’s easier said than done, but this is what Ram needs instead of another quick truck or a truck with huge touchscreen systems inside the cabin.
Ram’s CEO, Mike Koval, stressed the importance of towing and payload at the time of the official announcement of the 1500 BEV and Carl Lally has spoken on the same lines now. A study by Audi in 2020 showed that the range falls to almost 50-percent when towing. So, a 250-mile range could effectively fall to less than 125 miles. A range of around 250 miles when towing on maximum capacity is the minimum that the truck should have.
Stellantis announced four BEV-centric platforms shared by all the brands within the group. These are:
- STLA Small: Range up to 300 miles. Battery capacity between 37 and 82 kWh. To be used for small urban commuters
- STLA Medium: Range up to 440 miles. Battery capacity between 87 and 104 kWh. To be used on premium vehicles
- STLA Large: Range up to 500 miles. Battery capacity between 101 and 118 kWh. To be used for all-wheel-drive configurations and American muscle cars
- STLA Frame: Range up to 500 miles. Battery capacity between 159 and 200 kWh. To be used for capability and practicality.
Going by this, the Ram 1500 BEV will be based on the STLA Frame that will have a range of up to 500 miles.
Even if we take Audi’s calculations as a benchmark, the 1500 BEV could have a range of around 250 miles when towing to its maximum capacity.
But, on the flipside, this is impressive as of today and maybe just about nominal by the time the truck arrives. We’ll have to wait and watch how this pans out.
Also, it goes without saying that the towing and payload capacity needs to be more than its rivals. Ford got a lot of hype for its million-pound towing stunt, but the production version came with a maximum towing capacity of one-percent of it! (10,000 pounds with the Extended Range battery and the optional Max Trailer Tow Package). Ram needs to offer better capacity and decent range even in its worst avatar.
What Do We Know About The Ram 1500 BEV?
Not a lot is known about the Ram 1500 BEV yet, but Ram mentioned a few things that give us an idea of what to expect:
- Fast Charging up to 150 kW
- Dynamic Range Mapping
- Charge Station Locator
- EV Dynamic Trip Energy Prediction
- Smartphone Controls
- Smart Charging/Vehicle Preconditioning
- Drive Modes
As for the aesthetics, the company teased the truck in what seems to be a rendering. Only the silhouette was seen along with a glimpse of the face. It didn’t look very boxy and had a flowy design, perhaps to get better aero ratings. LED headlights and an LED strip made up for the face along with an illuminated logo on the grille.
Ram Is Already Reaching New Heights
Ram is having a dream run lately with the 1500 as it pipped the Ford F-150 and the Chevy Silverado to take the apex position in second-quarter sales for 2021. Ram sold 164,232 examples of the 1500 pickup truck, an increase of 28.5-percent, whereas Chevy claimed the second by moving 161,706 copies of the Silverado 1500. Ford slipped to the third position with 158,235 F-150 sold in the second quarter, a decline of 12.5-percent. The automaker is even coming up with special edition 1500s constantly, like the Laramie and Rebel G/T and the Limited 10th Anniversary Edition.
While this might be a temporary lapse as the Blue Oval is struggling with semiconductors shortage, it could be a glimpse of how things could be when in the EV segment, which is more or less a level playing field for everyone.
Ram sold the maximum trucks between April and June as an individual brand, but it was GM that took the cake. Chevrolet moved 161,706 Silverado 1500 whereas GMC sold 75,495 Sierra 1500s, which totals to 237,201 trucks for General Motors; a lot more than Ram and Ford.
Ram has its eyes set on the prize and wants the 1500 EV to be what a pickup truck is known to be. You can expect a lot of other shenanigans, but the focus will be on capability and durability. In fact, the new brand statement is an iteration of the existing one. It reads “Built to serve a sustainable planet”, an updated version of “Built to Serve”.
It will be interesting to see how the 1500 BEV will look like five years from now in the crowded lineup that includes the F-150 Lightning and the Lightning Pro, the electric Silverado, Tesla Cybertruck, and the premium offerings like the Bollinger B2, the Rivian R1T, and the GMC Hummer.
On July 19, GMC’s Vice President, Duncan Aldred, confirmed that a non-Hummer GMC pickup truck is arriving, too, which could very well be the electric version of the Sierra 1500. And, considering it will be a sister-truck to the Silverado 1500, it could very well arrive before Ram 1500 BEV, which is expected to come in 2025 as the production is set to begin in 2024.
Nevertheless, it gives a chance for Ram to study the market and come up with a product that is not compromised in any way whatsoever. The auto group will be investing €30 billion across brands, so we don’t expect any corners to be cut. But, all said and done, it shouldn’t be exorbitantly priced as all the hard work will go in vain. Ford, for instance, nailed this aspect, and in some states, the F-150 Lightning is cheaper than even the fuel-powered F-150!
Do you think Ram can become the market leader moving forward and dominate as Ford has with the F Series in the last four decades? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.
Source: Automotive News