2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger: Hybrid pickup joins new-school battery with old-school V-6
With unlimited Battery Electric range, the Ram 1500 Ramcharger is the pinnacle of the light-duty pickup truck segment and the ultimate electric truck,” said Tim Kuniskis, Ram brand CEO, at the truck’s recent reveal at the Stellantis design dome in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Unlimited range? Did Ram engineers discover the battery holy grail? Or did they perhaps discover perpetual motion?
Well, not quite.
Kuniskis’ point, it seems, is that the 1500 Ramcharger doesn’t explicitly require grid power for its battery to recharge. That’s because the 2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger utilizes a series hybrid powertrain, in which mechanical power comes solely from an electric motor (or motors) powered by either a battery or a gasoline-powered generator. Or, as Kuniskis puts it in Ram-speak, “It’s a battery electric truck with its own onboard high-speed charger.”
In the Ramcharger’s case, the system combines a 92-kilowatt-hour battery pack with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 that acts as a 130-kilowatt generator. Power is sent to 250-kW (335-hp) front and 238-kW (319-hp) rear electric drive modules. Ram engineers took great pains to explain that, unlike the now-dead Chevy Volt, the gas generator in the 1500 Ramcharger is not connected to any of the driven wheels. (Despite GM’s initial claims at the time of launch, the Volt’s four-cylinder was used primarily as an on-board generator except in higher-speed cruising scenarios in which it did contribute to motive power.)
Stellantis’ new body-on-frame STLA platform, shared with the all-electric Ram 1500 REV provides the underlying architecture.
In layman’s terms, the truck’s powertrain is good for 663 horsepower and more than 615 lb-ft of torque, which leads to some impressive projected performance figures. Ram powertrain engineers expect the Ramcharger to be capable of hitting 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds, carrying 2625 pounds, and towing 14,000 pounds. (Not all simultaneously, of course.)
While not quite “unlimited,” the Ramcharger’s 690-mile combined range could theoretically get you from Detroit to Raleigh, North Carolina without having to charge or fill up the 27-gallon gas tank. And if you do want to hit a public charger for a top-off, the truck offers 400-volt DC fast-charger at up to 145 kW; 10 minutes plugged as such can restore up to 50 miles of range.
In a nod to its hybrid drivetrain, the Ramcharger’s styling is a mix between the regular, gas-powered Ram, and the fully-electric Ram 1500 REV. It still sports a traditional grille, but the light bar that runs between the headlights is a nod to its battery power. For the Ramcharger, the design team decided on a plastic fascia instead of traditional, steel bumpers. “A fascia truck allows us to apply graphics and draw line work and sculpt surfaces and even hone radii that we could never do with a steel bumper,” said Jeff Aneiros, Ram’s chief truck exterior designer.
The Ramcharger seems great, but we were curious why Stellantis would develop such a truck at a time when every automaker seems poised to leave gas engines entirely behind.
The answer lies in the overlap of corporate compliance and the realities of the market. At the moment, the fully-electric Ram 1500 REV will hit dealerships soon and gas-powered Rams are some of Stellantis’ strongest sellers. As part of its Dare Forward 2030 initiative, the global automaker aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 50 percent and to increase its U.S. sales of battery electric vehicles by the same percentage. However, electric vehicles only make up 8 percent of the total amount of new vehicles sold today; according to Bloomberg, Ford reported sales of its F-150 Lightning plug-in pickup fell 46 percent in the third quarter.
To say the Ramcharger is just a stopgap to meet corporate compliance, however, would be to ignore the real-world benefits of having an EV with the flexibility and convenience offered by an onboard, gas-powered generator. Like the F-150 Lightning, the Ramcharger has outlets in the bed for powering tools on the jobsite or TVs at the tailgate. Also like the Lightning, the Ramcharger has bi-directional charging that can be critical for powering one’s home in a storm or recharging another EV with a dead battery. Unlike the Lightning, Ram can argue, the Ramcharger won’t run out of juice as long as you have dinosaur juice in the tank.
If the Ramcharger’s unique approach to electrification intrigues you, look out for it in showrooms near the end of 2024.