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Ram 1500 Ramcharger PHEV debuts

Plug-in hybrid Ram 1500 revives Ramcharger nameplate, eliminates anxiety with 1110km range

8 Nov 2023

RAM has this week announced details of its 2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger for the North American market, the brand’s first full-size plug-in hybrid pick-up truck sharing its STLA platform with the all-electric 1500 REV and offering a claimed driving range of up to 1110km – 233km of those on electric power alone.


The model is said to offer a best-of-both-worlds solution to greener towing and hauling, providing an impressive 6350kg of braked towing capacity and a payload of up to 1190kg.


Importantly, the 1500 Ramcharger is not a hybrid in the true sense of the word. Instead, it uses its petrol engine to generate electricity to power a liquid-cooled 92kWh battery pack which in turn supplies electric motors driving the wheels.


It is a similar philosophy to that employed by Nissan in its X-Trail ePower – or a diesel/electric locomotive. There is no direct mechanical path from the petrol engine to the wheels.


Petrol power comes from a familiar 3.6-litre Pentastar V6, the same found in Jeep products Down Under. It makes 130kW and provides sufficient energy to keep the battery pack charged and energising the 250kW front and 283kW rear electric drive motors (EDMs).


The EDMs combine the motor, gearbox, and inverter to offer all-wheel drive capability, however the front motor may be disconnected to allow freewheeling in certain situations, further improving efficiency. The rear unit is fitted as standard with a locking differential.


Ram has cleverly located the battery pack beneath the cabin floor, and between the frame rails, maintaining a flat cabin floor and improving the vehicle’s centre of gravity. The pouch-style cells are said to offer Ram customers “quick and convenient” recharging and may be charged fully in 10 minutes using a DC fast charger at up to 145kW.


Other benefits of the 1500 Ramcharger are said to include multi-link independent rear suspension, five-mode active levelling air suspension at all four corners, Level 2+ ADAS technologies – including park assist – and an on-board bi-directional power outlet that can supply up to 7.2kW of power for the job- or camp site.


“With unlimited battery-electric range, the Ram 1500 Ramcharger is the pinnacle of the light-duty pick-up truck segment and the ultimate electric truck,” said Ram chief executive officer, Tim Kuniskis.


“The new Ramcharger is a beast of a light duty (truck) – 663 horsepower, 615 pound-foot of torque, a 4.4-second zero to 60mph (96km/h) time, 14,000lb of towing, and zero need for a public charger.”


Visually, the 1500 Ramcharger is identified by a forward-canted grille with prominent R-A-M badge, LED headlights, and body-coloured fascia that are said to distinguish it from the remainder of the 1500 range.


In profile, the model features much of the horizontal theme found elsewhere in the line-up, but with additional aerodynamic elements and a newly cut charging port.


At the rear, the powered tailgate is garnished with a R-A-M badge that is unique to the Ramcharger model line, as well as unique LED taillights which span onto the tailgate identifying the model as an “electric Ram truck”.


Ram says the 1500 Ramcharger enjoys the same usability as its petrol-powered counterpart, and includes RamBox storage with a 115-volt power outlet, interior illumination and a lockable, weatherproof lid.


Moving inside we find a cabin not dissimilar to other 1500 models. Differentiating the PHEV variant are premium textures, colours and materials the design team says offer “unexpected luxury” to 1500 Ramcharger customers, with a blend of carbon-fibre, metal and leather throughout.


Available technology inclusions see the 1500 Ramcharger fitted with Ram’s Uconnect5 system with large 14.5-inch infotainment screen, 12.3-inch instrumentation cluster, a segment-first 10.25-inch passenger screen, digital rear-view mirror, and high-end 23-speaker/1228-watt Klipsch Reference Premiere sound system.


Other “enhanced features” include a shift-by-wire P-R-N-D gear selector, regenerative mode selector, illuminated starter, accessory switch bank and push-button trailer steering knob. Additional connected vehicle technologies allow remote start and pre-conditioning functions and smartphone or smartwatch “key” storage.


The Ram 1500 Ramcharger will go on sale in North American markets from the second half of 2024 as a MY25 model. Before that time, Ford Australia will offer its Ranger PHEV and BYD its very own hybrid utility, details of which may be found below.


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