There’s finally an electric Ram truck — or at least a concept of one. Stellantis is the world’s fifth largest automaker with a stable of more than a dozen North American and European brands including Jeep, Ram, Dodge, Maserati and Fiat. The company has set extremely ambitious goals to drastically reduce its carbon footprint by the end of the decade, as part of Dare Forward 2030, with 100 percent of its European sales and half of its US sales to be of the fully-electric variety. As part of that effort, Stellantis has already teased us with an EV concept from Chrysler, came right out and showed us next year’s electric Jeep and, on Thursday, unveiled the Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept.
The Ram 1500 BEV will be available in the 2024 model year alongside the as-of-yet-unnamed Jeep (with which it also shares a STLA EV frame). The Concept shown off Thursday will serve as a design template for the upcoming production vehicle.
Stellantis describes the Ram BEV’s exterior as “brutiful,” a portmanteau of “brutal yet beautiful.” I think that prominent split between the cabin and quarter panels just makes it look like an Autobot who hasn’t quite fully finished transforming yet.
Of course as a concept vehicle, Ram has affixed every bell and whistle it can to the vehicle’s exterior, from “grand saloon style” doors to an animated RAM grille logo and fully animated LED tail lamps and badging. The sideview mirrors are 3D-printed to reduce weight and drag.
You’re goddamn right it has a frunk. And a powered tailgate, flush-mounted door handles, power side and rear steps and why does your truck have to be so big it requires built-in step ladders. Hey so how much gravel are you planning on hauling in your luxury electric pickup truck, exactly. The one with a self-leveling suspension, 24-inch rims and little light up center caps.
Under the hood, the Ram will offer dual-motor AWD and four wheel steering with up to 15 degrees of articulation. The company hasn’t revealed the battery size yet but did confirm that the system will use an 800V architecture enabling it to add up to 100 miles of range in about 10 minutes on a 350 kW DC fast charger.
The Ram BEV Concept’s interior benefits greatly from its flat cabin floor. Ram’s “one space environment” theme centers on flexibility with a rail attachment/floor track system that allows the seats and consoles to shift and even be removed entirely. The concept vehicle also has space for a set of third-row jump seats — like a minivan but with lower utility. With the passthrough window open, the Ram concept can fit 18-foot items without needing the rear liftgate lowered. Yeah, all the bells and whistles.
The Ram concept’s center console consists of two 14-inch screens. The upper screen can be shifted between three positions as the driving situation calls for — or even be pulled off entirely and reaffixed elsewhere in the vehicle. The lower screen also slides around. An augmented reality heads-up display projects relevant driving details onto the front windscreen. It’s got an exterior projector that doubles as an outdoor movie theater. I feel bad for whoever breaks the rearview mirror in this truck because it houses “a smart backup camera with 360-degree views, speakers, and receivers compatible with voice assistants such as Alexa and Siri.” That’s not going to be cheap to replace.
The steering wheel is collapsible (a la Demolition Man) for when it engages its supposed Level 3+ ADAS. Remember, this is a concept vehicle, they can just make capabilities up. The wheel also incorporates capacitive controls while, “tactile swiping technology enables occupants to configure the sun visors or the entire electro-chromatic roof with the ability to adjust the opaqueness.” Why do some people have to sleep outside?
The BEV features an AI assistant because this is hell, we are in hell and we deserve our incoming highway HALs. It responds to voice commands. With a 3D RAM avatar which serves, per the release, “as the vehicle’s face.”
The driver doesn’t even have to be in the vehicle to issue verbal commands. The BEV concept has a dedicated subset of exterior controls like “close the windows, play music, take a picture” and “follow me,” which is literally ghost whipping that has somehow gotten past Stellantis’ legal department. It “allows the vehicle to automatically follow the driver walking ahead of the vehicle,” using a mix of voice commands, onboard sensors and cameras. The feature, RAM argues, “can be useful in situations where the driver needs to move a short distance and doesn’t want to get back in the truck.” So c’mon you lazy blockheads, show us your best Jeremy Renner impression.