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Ram Will Produce an Electric-Powered Pickup… But Will it Be a Full-On EV?

With Ford and Chevrolet preparing all-electric versions of their pickup trucks, Ram could do the same Automotive columnist: , Updated:

When you look around the automotive industry, there are a dozen electric pickup trucks in the works just about everywhere, from the just-unveiled GMC Hummer to Tesla's fantastical Cybertruck to the electric models in the works at Ford and Chevrolet.

You can add Ram's name to the list.

See also: Ford Shows Front Grille of Future F-150 Electric Truck

See also: GM Confirms It Will Deliver an Electric Pickup by Fall 2021

The news was confirmed by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Group CEO Mike Manley at the company's third quarter earnings announcement on Wednesday. No details were shared about the approach that Ram will be taking, but it was confirmed that work is underway.

That leaves three possibilities: A Ram 1500 hybrid, a Ram 1500 plug-in hybrid, or an all-electric Ram 1500. Most likely the third of those is high on the top brass’ wishlist, since the company has already mentioned that electrification is a central part of its future plans. The fact that both of FCA’s main rivals are working on electric trucks is an added impetus.  

“I do see that there will be an electrified Ram pickup in the marketplace, and I would ask you just to stay tuned for a little while, and we’ll tell you exactly when that will be.”

- Mike Manley, FCA CEO

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2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel
Photo: V.Aubé
2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

The announcement is important because FCA has been criticized in recent months for not announcing specific plans for its pickup trucks when rivals have done so.

In August of last year, Mike Manley said, “The reason we haven't spoken much about electric pickup trucks is not because we view that market as non-existent. We've always had a slightly different view of timing and adoption rates, particularly in North America in terms of full electrification. We are very committed to our electrification strategy — most of which we have revealed.”

One additional unknown variable is how things might play out internally as the merger with the PSA Group (Peugeot Société Anonyme) moves forward. The company created from this union, Stellantis, will certainly put together an electrification plan and we’ll then know more about the company's plans. This is probably already being worked on, but mum’s the word for the moment.

That said, since PSA is not a player in the full-size pickup truck world, it goes without saying that decisions regarding a future electric Ram truck will come from the new company's American offices. It remains to be seen how all this will take shape. Will Stellantis develop its electric Ram in-house, or will it partner with one of the nascent firms currently developing electric pickup trucks?

As unclear as the details surrounding development of an electric Ram are at the moment, given the decisions still to be made and the question of the post-merger senior management structure, the important takeaway from Manley’s announcement this week is that we now know that the company is definitely going to move into the electric-pickup domain.