In addition to the all-electric Ram REV, the Stellantis truck brand announced this week that it will also release a Pentastar engine gasoline-powered hybrid version of its electric pickup, called Ramcharger. The goal here is to use the V6 engine as a generator for the electric powertrain when the 92 kWh battery is depleted. The two power supplies together can power the truck to a projected 690 miles of combined range, which is pretty impressive for a 663 horsepower truck that runs from 0-60 in 4 seconds.
The Ramcharger is pushed along the road by a pair of electric motors, a 250 kW unit at the front and a 238 kW unit at the back. Ram has re-branded the iconic (and long-lived) 3.6 Pentastar V6 as a “130 kW on-board generator” and has given the engine a number of jobs to do. Not only does the V6 generate electricity for the electric motors to consume, but it can be connected in a vehicle-to-vehicle arrangement to charge another electric vehicle, or in a vehicle-to-grid manner to power your house during a storm, power a tailgate party, or run a jobsite. If gas engines are going to stick around, and it seems Stellantis is determined to make that happen, this is a good use for them.
The Ram 1500 Ramcharger seems like a decent option for people who need a truck in their lives, as it will certainly be able to drive around town for day to day use without burning a drop of gasoline, then convert to a more conventional fueling source for longer trips or towing needs. Ram hasn’t unveiled any consumption figures for the truck yet, but I have to assume it will be better for the world than the current behemoths clogging Texas highways.
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