The EV pickup market has become more crowded in the last year. It is about to get worse. RAM, one of the big three full-size pickup market leaders, which include the Chevy Silverado and Ford F-150, has just released its own EV. The problem is it is not an EV at all.
The new truck is what parent Stellantis calls the “All-new 2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger Unveiled With Class-shattering Unlimited Battery-electric Range.” CNBC commented, “Stellantis’ new Ram pickup is an EV — with a gas-powered generator in case the battery runs out.” In other words, it is not an EV at all. An EV is a vehicle powered by an electric engine alone.
This engine operates with 250 kW front and 238 kW rear electric drive modules (EDMs) powered by an onboard 130 kW generator and a 92 kWh battery.. When the battery runs low, propulsion is shifted to a 3.6-liter V6 engine. By the standard of gas power engines, that is large.
Ford made a relatively similar move a long time ago. It has an F-150 with a hybrid engine as well. As sales of the F-150 Lightning have flagged, sales of the hybrid have been strong. CNBC commented: Ford expects to increase sales of the V-6 hybrid model during the 2024 model year to roughly 20% in the U.S. Lightning sales have only been a few thousand this year.
The legacy car makers have hit a wall. Each has spent billions of dollars on the EV future in R&D, marketing, and production. Presumably, each will spend billions more. They cannot afford to do otherwise. If EV demand surges, they cannot be unprepared. In the meantime, the gas engine, which was supposed to be the technology of the 1900s and the early part of this century, will not go away.
RAM and Ford are hedging their EV bets. A year ago, that was not the plan.