Ram is working on an electric version of its 1500 full-size pickup — which may end up being called the Ram Revolution — for 2024. Ram will be last to the party from the big three, following the Ford F-150 Lightning and the Chevy Silverado EV. But Ram may offer a useful, though not entirely, zero-emissions feature that those trucks lack.
Ram CEO Mike Koval Jr. told Autoblog that the brand is planning to offer a range extender model alongside the full-electric pickup when it debuts. Autoblog did not get any details on what that setup would look like. But the range extender version would likely be based on the electric model with an auxiliary gasoline engine attached to provide some power. (Picture a plug-in hybrid in reverse.)
The range itself shouldn't be too much of a problem for the electric Ram 1500. Stellantis's STLA Frame platform should deliver up to 500 miles of range, and most customers will need far less than that. What the extender may be helpful for is towing. EVs can pull large items, but it dramatically cuts the vehicle's range. And that could be a dealbreaker to some buyers who would be otherwise interested in buying the electric truck.
Gasoline range extenders have not been too popular so far. BMW offered one in their early EV effort, the i3 hatchback. Most EVs will provide enough range without them. But for this specific use case, a range extender could be a pretty handy solution for towing until EV truck technology improves. And even if it's not technically "zero emissions," it should still be a dramatic improvement over Ram 4x4 buyers cruising around in 5.7-liter V8s that earn 17 mpg.