The 2025 Ram Ramcharger is an electric truck that gets its EV juice from a gas-powered generator
Image credits: Ram / Excellent
Don’t call it a plug-in hybrid. Or a gas-powered car, too. The Stellantis Ram brand wants the 2025 Ram 1500 Ram Charger, unveiled on November 7, to be seen as a battery-electric truck.
The Ramcharger has a 92 kWh battery with a range of 145 miles. It also happens to have a 3.6-liter V6 engine with a 130-kilowatt generator on board. The company says this combo gives the Ramcharger a targeted range of 690 miles.
The end result, at least in terms of performance, is a truck with the ability to travel from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, 663 horsepower and more than 615 pound-feet of torque, Ram said. More importantly for truck customers, the Ramcharger will have a towing capacity of 14,000 pounds with a Class 5 hitch and a maximum payload capacity of 2,625 pounds. Ram has not shared pricing information on Ramcharger.
Customers can also plug in the battery and charge it if they wish. According to the company, a 400-volt DC fast charger can add up to 50 miles of all-electric range in about 10 minutes. The truck also has two-way charging capabilities, which can be used to charge an electric vehicle or send power to a home, campground or tools. The truck’s on-board power panel provides up to 7.2 kilowatts of power.
“This will be a game-changer for the battery-electric truck,” Ram CEO Tim Kuniskis said during a press conference, noting that this is part of the Stellantis Dare Forward 2030 plan that aims to achieve 100% of sales in Europe and 50% of Total sales in Europe. Sales in the United States will be battery electric vehicles by the end of the decade.
That is if consumers understand what the Ramcharger is — and what it isn’t — when it hits dealerships in 2025.
How does the Ram Charger work?
The V6 engine generates mechanical power and sends it to the car’s 130 kW on-board generator, which is mounted directly on the engine. The generator converts this into electrical energy, which can be used to charge the 92 kW battery or can be applied to the two electric motor units. Electric drive units, or EDMs in automotive parlance, combine a motor, gearbox and inverter as well as all-wheel drive capability and are located on the front and rear axles.
All of this means that the Ramcharger – this one, not the Dodge Ramcharger of yesteryear – is what people call a series hybrid. This should not be confused with parallel hybrids like the Toyota Prius, where the gas engine directly drives the wheels.
Ram executives emphasized that there is no direct mechanical path from the engine to the wheels. These details are what the company hangs its hat on for its battery-powered electric truck.
“There is no connection between this generator set and the wheels, as one might find even in a plug-in hybrid — all the drive is electric,” said Doug Killian, Ram Trucks chief engineer. “And that’s really important to the story of it being an electric car.”
Inside the truck there are three switches located next to the shifter that provide more insight into how it all works. These three switches, called Electric Plus, Eco, and E-save, are the tools drivers can use to select charger modes. Electric Plus mode, the largest of the three, draws from the battery and has a range of about 145 miles. Once it reaches this level, the on-board gas generator will start charging the battery.
Customers, such as a contractor who may want to use battery power later on the job site, can opt for electronic conservation, which will use power from the generator to propel the vehicle and keep the battery charged at the same time. In Eco mode, the car prioritizes pure electric propulsion and is designed to squeeze in maximum range.
Production plans for the 2025 Ram 1500 Rev battery electric truck are still in the works, Ram executives said. However, the Ramcharger is meant to quash concerns about range anxiety and introduce new and existing Ram customers to electrification.
“There are a lot of advantages to a battery electric vehicle, but there are certain things that slow people down,” Kuniskis said. “And I can say that the things that slow you down like charging time and worrying about range and infrastructure, you don’t have to worry about them with this.”
In other words, the Ramcharger is a bridge technology that will eventually lead customers to a pure, battery-powered electric truck—no gas-powered generator in sight.
Part of the challenge will be convincing customers that the Ramcharger offers all the performance of a traditional battery-powered electric truck without the downside of worrying about range. This is where marketing will play a role. As Kuniskis pointed out, he won’t call this a V6 or a powerplant. Instead, it will be a compact charger for a battery-powered electric truck.
If customers aren’t convinced by the performance or marketing language, the Ramcharger’s design may do the trick. This is not a doodle swiping concept. The Ramcharger is very much a Ram truck with all the premium modern touches, including a 14.5-inch touchscreen, a 10.25-inch passenger display, a digital rearview mirror, and a Klipsch sound system. The Ramcharger will be available on all models Ram truck owners are already familiar with, including the Tradesman, Bighorn, Laramie and Limited. There will also be high-quality tungsten inlays, which complement the design with platinum metallic accents, heated and ventilated leather seats and a massage function.