Meet the New Ramcharger: Is it a Hybrid or Electric Truck?

Meet the New Ramcharger: Is it a Hybrid or Electric Truck?

What is the new Ramcharger? This new version of the Ram 1500 pickup truck has us asking questions, but the most important is how to categorize it.

The team at Ram created a conundrum of sorts. The new fully-electric Ram 1500 REV is on the way and will be an impressive new electric pickup, but what is this new Ramcharger that’s being sold alongside the electric model? Ram has tried hard to say this new truck isn’t a hybrid pickup, but they only have a few people fooled by its setup. Let’s explore this new Ram truck and what it offers.

What powers the wheels in this truck?

Ram set up this new truck differently than most standard hybrid models, but we’ve seen this setup before. In the Ramcharger, a 3.6-liter Pentastar gas engine sends power to the batteries and, in some instances, to the electric motors. Only the electric motors drive the wheels, which makes this an electric vehicle, but the gasoline engine makes it a hybrid. Although the gas engine isn’t driving the wheels at all, there’s a distinction that can’t be ignored; fully-electric vehicles do not come with a gas engine, period.

Is this a new type of hybrid truck?

Actually, this setup in the hybrid Ram truck isn’t a new system it was the same type of hybrid setup used in the Chevrolet Volt, but the Volt listed its electric-only driving range based on how far the car could drive with a fully-charged battery. A gas engine sending power to the batteries or electric motors is called a “series hybrid,” which is different from a “parallel hybrid,” the setup found in the Toyota Prius and most other hybrid vehicles. The Volt wasn’t the only series hybrid produced; this setup is also found in the Fisker Karma and most diesel-electric locomotive train engines.

How far can this Ram truck travel on a full battery?

The new Ramcharger can drive up to 145 miles using only electric power in the batteries. This is much further than most PHEVs, which can typically only travel 30 to 40 miles on a full charge. The battery pack in this hybrid truck is much larger than most hybrid battery packs and rivals some EVs in terms of size.

When the tank is full, and the batteries are charged, this Ram truck can travel about 690 miles before requiring a refill and recharger. Another cool feature of this new truck is its ability to use a DC fast charger to add 100 miles of driving range in only a few minutes, making it a versatile and useful truck.

How far does the Ram REV drive on a full charge?

The Ram REV is the fully-electric version of the Ram 1500. This pickup has been featured many times over and brings plenty of power for any work crew to get things done. The new Ram REV could be the longest-range electric truck in the market, capable of traveling up to 500 miles on a full charge.

Why sell both trucks?

Although electric pickup trucks are quickly gaining popularity, there are two glaring issues with fully electric pickups that can be corrected with a series hybrid truck. Electric trucks can pull heavy loads, but when they do, the driving range drops significantly. This means owners would need to spend a lot of time at the charging station to get the trucks recharged along the way.

The new Ramcharger gives truck owners an option while allowing them to enjoy the benefits of a hybrid/electric setup. Instead of spending time at the charging station, owners can pull into a gas station and keep the Ramcharger going.

Why did Ram wait so long to offer these trucks?

Ram’s main rivals are Ford and GM, which already have electric trucks in the market. Ram used this delay to measure consumer confidence and desires for EV trucks. What they’ve found is that most shoppers are put off by the higher prices of electric trucks and want these pickups to have similar prices to those with gas engines.

Offering a relatively efficient hybrid truck alongside a new electric truck could be the advantage that Ram needs to enter the market with a strong presence. Customers looking for a fully-electric truck with good power and driving range can go for the Ram REV, while those who don’t want to spend a lot of time at charging stations and want to tow heavy loads will likely lean toward the Ramcharger.

Which of these two Ram pickup trucks would you choose?

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