Stellantis exec backs EREV pick-up
The Jeep maker might be betting on a different horse in the US e-pickup race
The Jeep US subsidiary of conglomerate Stellantis will offer an extended range EV (EREV) option for its new Ram truck to follow a full BEV version due late next year. And a senior executive at the firm appears to be a bigger fan of the later launch.
“The Ramcharger [EREV] is on top of my list,” says Ned Curic, Chief Engineering Officer and CTO at Stellantis, while noting that “Ram customers will have lots of great truck options to choose from”.
It is an “electric truck without range anxiety”, Curic continues.
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“Most owners will be able to simply charge at home and run on EV mode only and seldom use internal ICE. But when you need it, it is there to give you that long range, free of any fear [you] will run out of charge. You have to drive this truck to appreciate it — smooth, quiet, with massive torque available all the time,” Curic continues.
Ram will offer an all-electric 2025 Ram 1500 BEV that arrives in the fourth quarter of 2024. The Ram 1500 Ramcharger EREV — “featuring even more class-shattering range”, according to Stellantis — will follow on an as yet unspecified schedule.
And analysts see some logic in the EREV move. “In June 2021 when Stellantis laid out its plans to electrify its line-up, one of the big surprises was the reference to a range-extended version of the promised electric Ram 1500,” says Sam Abuelsamid, principal research analyst at consultancy Guidehouse Insights.
The EREV “could potentially be just the right mix for electric driving most of the time without the sacrifices inherent in a fully electric big truck”, he suggests.
The US e-pickup market will already be crowded by the time the Ram BEV arrives, with Tesla’s Cybertruck and two GM offerings, the Silverado and Sierra, joining the GMC Hummer, Ford F-150 Lightning and Rivian R1T in the space. The Fisker Alaska may also join the party soon after, while Germany's VW has big ambitions for its revived Scout brand.
So an EREV product could offer differentiation. It might also broaden the customer base.
There are fears that US OEMs have jumped into e-pickups with gusto mainly because Americans buy a lot of gas pickups and manufacturers make healthy margins on gas pickups. And they may not have considered the crossover between customers interested in buying pickups and customers interested in buying BEVs as carefully as they might have done.
Customers who buy pickups and who might consider an e-pickup if its range was boosted by a gas-powered extender could prove a larger target market.