CES 2023: Ram Unveils 2024 Electric Pickup Concept
The Ram 1500 EV will boast cabin, cargo, and propulsion innovations.
Stellantis’ Ram brand is late to the ranks of full-size battery-electric pickup trucks, following the Ford F-150 Lighting EV and Rivian R1Tin 2022, GM’s Silverado EV due in fall 2023, and the Tesla Cybertruck expected in early 2024. Ram execs aren’t worried.
At various events during 2021 and 2022, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares dropped hints about the Ram 1500 EV, promising it “will outperform all competitors.” Tavares also commented that the truck’s specification will be “based on where we see our competitors going in a very clear competitive mindset, which is to beat them when we hit the ground with the new products on those new platforms.”
Ram finally unveiled the Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept at CES 2023. The automaker describes it as “loaded with exclusive advanced-technology features.” Although some of the innovations are unlikely to make it to the production version’s launch in 2024, they include an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered virtual assistant, a “shadow mode” that allows the vehicle to automatically follow voice-activated commands from a driver walking ahead of the vehicle, and an SAE Level 3-plus driving mode in which the vehicle retracts the steering wheel to provide additional space for the driver. The concept vehicle also has Ram Charger, a robotic inductive charger for the home that automatically moves into position and aligns itself under the vehicle.
Exterior styling, expected to remain similar to the concept, is largely conventional and unmistakenly Ram and speaks directly to pickup functionality. The truck’s all-new face includes a substantial skid plate stretching from the nose to the chassis and pivoting tow hooks. The concept also has some bling: animated and modernized “R-A-M” badging and animated full LED “tuning fork” headlight design. It’s unclear how much of this will carry over to the production version.
Bypassing the B-pillar
Being an EV, the truck features a “frunk” (front trunk) that includes powered one-touch, open-and-close functionality. Running across the cabin floor and stretching into the frunk and truck bed is an in-floor rail system offering numerous cabin configurations and flexibility for hauling a wide variety of cargo up to 18 ft. (5.5 m) in length. Partitions flip up to keep items in place and retractable hooks offer convenient anchor points.
The production vehicle will be based on Stellantis’ STLA platform, the purpose-engineered body-on-frame architecture designed for fullsize electric trucks. For the Revolution BEV Concept, STLA platform is stretched 4 in. (102 mm) compared to the 2023 Ram 1500 to provide more space for the large battery pack. The longer wheelbase also means extra cabin space and enhanced comfort for passengers.
The piece de resistance of the new Ram EV is the elimination of the B-pillar, which, along with doors that open 90 degrees, offers unparalleled ease of ingress and egress. Powered steps, likely to be optional on the production version, stretch the length of the cabin and actuate when the doors open.
Inside, the Ram Revolution features four fold-flat, removable seats to configure the interior based on cargo or passengers. There’s also third-row removable jump seats that may be perfect for tailgate parties, but not for tailgating!
The expanded interior layout offers even more flexibility, with room to configure the workspace with a removable center console featuring a fold-flat surface.
The Ram EV’s cargo bed shows new levels of design creativity. The RamBox (copyrighted) Cargo Management System steps up a level with two tiers of storage space with partitions for organizing cargo and rings for anchor points. The powered 50/50 split multi-function tailgate features remote open-and-close functionality and houses bed-extender doors on the inside that conveniently flip up to contain the extended length of the truck bed.
There’s also a powered rear step with active diffuser (designed to reduce aero drag), which automatically lowers when the truck bed is approached.
During the CES press conference for the Ram Concept EV, brand CEO Mike Koval said the Ram 1500 BEV will be the leader in a combination of areas customers care about the most: range, towing, payload and charge time. While few details of the truck’s propulsion system were released, the reveal did note that the vehicle is powered by two electric-drive modules (EDMs) and features all-wheel-drive capability. The truck also can add up to 100 miles (161 km) of range in approximately 10 minutes with 800-volt DC fast charging at up to 350 kW. It also will include four-wheel steering with up to 15 degrees of articulation for greater vehicle maneuverability.
Koval also said the entire Ram lineup will offer electrified solutions with disruptive, advanced technology in the years to come. He did not mention the future for hybrids, range-extender versions and ICE powertrains in the Ram portfolio.
The Ram 1500 EV’s lithium-ion batteries will be manufactured in the U.S. and Koval alluded to a relationship with Factorial Energy to jointly develop by 2026 solid-state batteries that will “double the power density and reduce battery weight by one-half.”