Transportation

Ram 1500 REV swings for the fences with an estimated 500 miles of range


For better or worse, Americans love big trucks. Big tires, big grilles, big payloads — all things that sell extremely well, despite their big (re: negative) impact on the environment and road safety. So, of course, electric trucks were going to be big, too.

The Ram 1500 REV, which made its debut in concept form during CES earlier this year, stands ready to be one of the biggest electric trucks available when it goes on sale next year. Not just in size but in weight, range, and technological capabilities, too. In addition to a 168 kWh battery version that can get up to 350 miles of range, Ram says it will also sell a 229 kWh version for an industry-leading 500 miles of range.

Most electric vehicles on the market today have a range that falls between 200–300 miles, while some have less than that. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said the next-generation Tesla Roadster will have a range of 620 miles — though he’s been known to overpromise and underdeliver. The Tesla Cybertruck is also expected to have up to 500 miles of range. The question is: can Ram get its truck out to customers before Musk’s?

“Range anxiety” is often defined as a nebulous dread some customers may have that an electric vehicle may not be able to handle all the driving they want to do before running out of power. And it’s often held up as a barrier to widespread EV adoption. More people would buy EVs, the reasoning goes, if they had greater confidence in the charging infrastructure or the range of the vehicle.

EV range is determined independently by the EPA, as well as Europe’s Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), which are typically more optimistic than the EPA. Most automakers tend to exceed the EPA figure with their own estimates, but it stands to reason that the Ram 1500 REV will be a far-ranging EV thanks to its excessive amounts of kilowatt-hours.

But the Ram 1500 REV won’t just be a big-ass battery on wheels; it will also do all the heavy-duty truck stuff you’ve come to expect. Ram says it will have a payload capacity of 2,700 lbs and a towing capacity of 14,000 lbs. When it’s plugged into a DC fast charger with up to 350 kW of energy output, the 1500 REV’s 800-volt architecture will add 110 miles of range in just 10 minutes.

For now, these are just estimates, but they signal Ram’s willingness to compete with its rivals on the specs that American car buyers routinely say matter the most. Ram wants the distinction of having the electric truck that can go the farthest, charge the fastest, haul the most stuff, and tow the heaviest loads. Now it’s up to Ford, Chevy, GMC, and the rest to respond.

Ram is willing to compete with its rivals on the specs that American car buyers routinely say matter the most

And it doesn’t stop there: Ram also boasts the biggest frunk, or front trunk, with 15 cubic feet of storage space. That’s more frunk than the F-150 Lightning (14.1 cu-ft), Hummer EV and Chevy Silverado EV (both 9 cu-ft).

The Ram 1500 REV will also offer bidirectional charging capabilities, with enough battery capacity to charge another EV or even a whole house during a power outage. It can also be used to sell energy back to the grid. An onboard power panel in the truck’s bed can provide up to 7.2 kW of energy, while an additional panel in the frunk provides up to 3.6 kW.

Despite its size and weight, Ram says the 1500 REV will be comparatively quick, with a 0–60 mph time of 4.4 seconds, 654 horsepower and 620 lb-ft of torque. The truck can also handle up to 24 inches of water fording, so don’t be afraid to get a little wet.

Ram also boast the biggest frunk

Ram is introducing a new trim level with the 1500 REV called Tungsten, which the company claims “sits atop the lineup and raises the no-compromise benchmark again for upscale pickup trucks.” Those who opt for the ultra-premium trim will enjoy a 23-speaker audio system supplied by Klipsch. No prices announced yet, but don’t be surprised if it extends well beyond six figures.

In terms of tech, the Ram 1500 REV will run on Stellantis’ Android-powered Uconnect 5 operating system, which supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a host of other third-party apps. And in terms of screens, the truck will have more than its fair share, including a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 14.5-inch portrait-style central display, and a new 10.25-inch passenger screen.

The advanced driver assist will be Level 2-plus, meaning it will support hands-free highway driving in addition to all other standard capabilities. It will not, however, feature Stellantis’ STLA Brain operating system, which the company has said would support Level 3 unsupervised highway driving in the future. No word on whether the Ram 1500 REV expects to support that capability in the future.

Trucks, of course, are insanely popular right now. The Big Three automakers — Ford, GM, and Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler) — pretty much only sell what’s considered light-duty trucks, a category that also includes SUVs and crossovers.

But Ram has been struggling for years to move out of third place in truck sales, lagging behind Ford and Chevy. The automaker sold over 468,000 trucks in 2022, a 17 percent slide compared to the previous year. The 1500 REV is an opportunity for Ram to get back in the game and challenge its competitors with an electric truck that can match — or surpass — them in a head-to-head matchup.

It will also come out around the same time as the Tesla Cybertruck, which could help or hurt, depending on what customers prefer. But while Tesla is betting it can create new truck customers with its outlandish design, Ram is making a play for traditional truck customers, who surveys have shown are more brand loyal than other car owners.

The Ram 1500 REV will be available starting in the fourth quarter of 2024. EV-curious Mopar diehards and others in the market for an electric pickup can get in line to reserve the truck — and become members of “Ram REV Insider Plus” — with a refundable $100 “membership fee.”



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