Home » Does The Ram Ramcharger Hybrid Get 20 MPG In Gas-Only Mode? Check Our Math

Does The Ram Ramcharger Hybrid Get 20 MPG In Gas-Only Mode? Check Our Math

2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger Limited
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The upcoming 2025 Ram Ramcharger is an interesting beast, even beyond its double-barelled moniker. The truck looks to offer serious power and long range between refills and recharges thanks to its series hybrid setup. Here at The Autopian, we’ve been doing the sums on this setup, and we’re interested in the mileage this new rig will achieve.

Full specifications for the Ramcharger aren’t yet available, and we’ve asked Ram for more details on MPG, and they’re not ready to announce that. What we do know is that the new truck will have two electric motors driving the wheels, good for a full 663 horsepower. It will also carry a big V6 engine running on gasoline. However, this engine will solely be used to charge the truck’s large 92 kWh battery, and will not drive the wheels mechanically. The battery is expected to offer 145 miles of range in pure EV operation, while the 27 gallon fuel tank is said to extend the truck’s total range to 690 miles all up.

Vidframe Min Top
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It’s those latter figures that have us curious. If we subtract the EV range from the total combined range, we get a figure of 545 miles being contributed by the gasoline engine. If you drive 545 miles on 27 gallons of gas, you’re getting a fuel economy figure of about 20 mpg.

It bears noting that this is just a back-of-the-envelope figure from incomplete information, and is not a combined figure including the battery’s contribution. It shouldn’t be regarded as an official figure, and it doesn’t come from any proper EPA city/highway/combined testing schedule.

Ram 1500 Ramcharger Callouts 2 (1)

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It’s worth putting that figure into context. The existing 2023 Ram 1500 equipped with the mild-hybrid Pentastar V6 with eTorque (almost certainly a significantly lighter truck) gets 20 mpg and 25 mpg highway. Thus, the figure is around about in the right ballpark for a big heavy truck. Sure, hybrids can be really efficient at times, but you’re simply not going to get a full-sized truck like the Ramcharger posting the same figures as something like a comparatively tiny BMW i3, which delivers somewhere in the ballpark of 35 mpg from its range-extender engine.

One question that will be of interest to owners will be how the Ramcharger’s gasoline engine works at different states of charge. Generally, a series hybrid won’t run its range extending engine at full battery, as the power generated would have nowhere to go. Typically, the engine would be fired up when the battery is at around a 75% state of charge or lower if it’s desired to keep the battery range available for later in a trip. (ex: if you wanted to just use the gas engine on the highway so that, when you arrive in the city, you can maximize vehicle efficiency using EV mode. -DT].

There may indeed be a certain point on the battery’s state-of-charge curve at which charging via the range extender is most efficient. Ram could implement this as a “efficiency” mode, where the battery is kept roughly at this level while the generator is running. This could allow the engine to run at a steady, efficient operating point and not have to adapt to the energy needs of the vehicle as it attempts steep grades and tows – with the semi-charged battery acting as a “buffer” to allow this.

If the battery is allowed to run down before kicking the engine on (i.e. if the battery is empty), the driving experience changes. With the battery empty, there would not be enough juice to run the Ramcharger’s 663 horsepower motors at full power. The truck would be limited to the 174 horsepower from the generator hooked up to the Pentastar V6, which could be running flat-out. Thus, it might be desirable to have the range extender setup to run in such a way that there’s always some battery power left to keep good acceleration on tap at all times and to keep the ICE running efficiently.

P90129298 Lowres Bmw I3 With Range Ex
The BMW i3 (pictured, cutaway) has a tiny 0.65-liter range extender that’s only good for 33 horsepower. It means that the i3 can’t use the full power of iits 167 hp electric motor when the battery runs out of juice. It was also hobbled in the US to only kick on its range extender at the last minute in order to meet California’s BEVx category restrictions.

It bears noting that historically, certain series hybrids have been restricted in their mode of operation due to government regulations. The BMW i3, for example, was originally setup in the US to only engage its range extender when the battery state of charge (SOC) reached 6%. This, as I understand it, was done to fit into the restrictive BEVx category laid out by CARB in 2012 to secure thousands of dollars in government credits for vehicles sold.

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It specified range-extended electric vehicles had to have a longer range on battery power than on gas. In other markets, like Europe, i3 owners were able to engage their range-extenders at a 75% SOC or lower. Like many series hybrids, the i3 has a range extender with less power than its motor can deliver. Thus, when these vehicles run out of battery power, they are power-limited. In the i3’s case, this meant that if the range extender kicked in at a 6% SOC, and the car then encountered a big hill, the driver would at times be unable to maintain full highway speeds.

Part of me hopes Ram wouldn’t hobble the Ramcharger, a pickup truck meant to do hard work, in such a way just to score some government credits. Ultimately, we’ll have to wait and see how Ram calibrates the range extender for use in varying contexts, like long-range use, towing, and city driving. Regardless, with 690 miles of combined range, you shouldn’t have too much trouble making it to a gas station with something left in the battery and in the tank.

2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger
The fact that the Pentastar V6 is already part of the 2025 Ram 1500 lineup would have made it an easy choice for range extender duty.

Some may question whether the Ramcharger could have gotten by with a smaller, more efficient engine as a range extender. However, engineers behind the project likely chose the Pentastar engine for a variety of reasons. For one, it’s probably easiest to stick with an engine that’s already built to work with the Ram 1500 platform, and nestles perfectly in the engine bay. Engineering another engine to suit, and going through all the emissions checks and so on would add cost.

Plus, there’s the simple fact of wanting to keep a certain base level of power on tap when the batteries are empty. The range extender wouldn’t be as enticing if it was useless when towing, for example, because Ram made it too small and weedy. There’s a certain base level of power the end user will expect from their truck.

Ultimately, the Ramcharger is a very exciting proposition. It could be the harbinger of a new age of heavy-duty series hybrids, that can work all day and all night without excessive downtime to recharge. Or, it could be seen as an overcomplicated truck that makes compromises to run on gasoline and electric power.  If Ram can make it easy to use, pleasant to drive, and just efficient enough to be worthwhile, it could just have a winner on its hands.

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Dan Bee
Dan Bee
8 months ago

For the record, this is largely how a fuel cell works. It’s not often marketed, but FCV have a battery used for variations in load. Fuel cell stacks are happiest running at constant output.

That being said, I think the Ramcharger is an awesome solution. It will run in electric mode most of the time (think of that sweet instant electric torque) and have the gas generator when needed.

In other words, it’s the easy button for electric (“electrified”) pickups. Good on Ram.

Last edited 8 months ago by Dan Bee
Dinklesmith
Dinklesmith
8 months ago

Series hybrids don’t tend to do amazing on fuel economy. The first Gen Volt only got 35mpg, and the second generation got 42…I get 38-40mpg in it on the gas engine
Those numbers were better, but not *much* better than the Cruze on which it was based. So 20mpg out of a truck that would normally get 15 seems about right

Leighzbohns
Leighzbohns
8 months ago

I’m driving around in a rental with the pentastar engine and 20 mpg is better than what I’m getting. I think you’re in the ballpark.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
8 months ago

I’m curious to know how efficient this generator is. Is it 15% like most small home generators? 25% like a typical modern ICE only vehicle? 33%like a diesel? 40% like a Prius? Maybe even better?

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
8 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

So using the 145 miles on 92 kWh of battery, 545 miles of range on 27 gallons of gas, 33.4 kWh of energy per gallon of gasoline I get about 40% thermal efficency from the generator.

Captain Zoll
Captain Zoll
8 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

you should also consider that even if you start with the battery empty, the drive motors/battery can still take advantage of regen braking, boosting the total efficiency above a plain old ICE with a good gearbox.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
8 months ago
Reply to  Captain Zoll

Well this is a simple estimate assuming a single flat, straight highway journey from full to empty with no stops.

If my math is right 40% is WAAY better than any small gasoline generator. Waste heat from the liquid cooling system and exhaust can be harnessed too.

That 92kWh battery coupled with 346 kWh of electricity from the generator is enough to run a typical home for a week or two, especially since that generator also provides plenty of waste heat. With a better V2X system this thing coupled easily provide emergency heat and power for even the biggest home. If I lived in a place where week long winter blackouts were a real possibility a truck like this, modified to put out more shore power and provide heat to the HVAC would be on my short list.

Last edited 8 months ago by Cheap Bastard
Mthew_M
Mthew_M
8 months ago

Car and Driver states that, while the generator has a 174hp continuous output figure, it can produce up to 255hp peak. Can y’all confirm that? I’m getting kind of tired of people debating the merits of the Pentastar vs something else – it makes a lot more sense if it can temporarily make close to the V6s output peak. Would be interesting to know what the actual electric output from the generator into the battery is too.

Drunken Master Paul
Drunken Master Paul
8 months ago

excellent conversation.

For me, I will be excited for any plug in hybrid, serial or otherwise, that let’s me run 100+ miles on electric only. I would prefer something smaller than an average office block, but if the price is reasonable (it won’t be) then this is something I might go for. Put this kind of system in something the size of a Dakota or, gasp, a Pacifica? Sold.

Dinklesmith
Dinklesmith
8 months ago

I’d buy a Dakota with this so fast…mostly because it would be $40k instead of $60k

JumboG
JumboG
8 months ago
Reply to  Dinklesmith

No, it would be 55k instead of 60k. That’s why small trucks died off in the first place.

Dinklesmith
Dinklesmith
8 months ago
Reply to  JumboG

Damn it you’re right aren’t you

Unclesam
Unclesam
8 months ago

I am curious how different this system is from the existing pacifica hybrid. Other than the much larger battery, it sounds pretty close to the same? Pacifica has an Atkinson cycle modified pentastar and 16kwh battery

Scruffinater
Scruffinater
8 months ago
Reply to  Unclesam

Looks like the pacifica uses a parallel system more like a prius, so the ramcharger is not just a scaled-up version. However, I’m sure they have learned a lot from the pacifica that is being applied to designing the ramcharger. I am curious if they are not also using an atkinson-ized pentastar in the ramcharger and just have not mentioned that in the press releases…

Drunken Master Paul
Drunken Master Paul
8 months ago
Reply to  Scruffinater

Even with a parallel system if they can get that EV range up to or close to 100 miles that is a complete game changer for me. I would give up the third row sto-n-go for that to accommodate the bigger battery pack. In fact, just lose the seats and give us a cargo version (never gonna happen).

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
8 months ago

I don’t care I want the story behind the Ram Ram Charger name.

Captain Zoll
Captain Zoll
8 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

well, it’s an (electric) ram, with a big old “charger” up the front,
and back in the day “ramcharger” was the name of dodge’s bronco/blazer rival, so why not?

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
8 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

They already have the rights to the name, since Ramcharger was the name of Dodge’s old Bronco/Blazer competitor from the 70s-90s, so marketing decided it fits an electric pickup truck because it sounds tough and EVs charge so it feels clever.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
8 months ago

As an owner of a Pentastar V6 (in van application) this sounds about right. I know that in this use case it will be operating at an ideal single speed as a generator, but I can’t imagine that improve efficiency by all that much, not to mention the electricity generated will need to haul around far more weight than my battery-less van.

I average 23 mpg (boy I wish it were better) and can get 30mpg on a road trip. 20 mpg in this application is probably in the ballpark for this.

JDE
JDE
8 months ago

when charging, unless the generator increases load to compensate for increased battery loss, it would not matter much. the Generator would run at the same RPM for the most part.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
8 months ago

So let’s do some really rough weight guessing.

Remove 200lb transmission and replace with 75lb generator. Save 125lbs.

Remove driveshaft and rear pumpkin. Replace with copper cables and traction motor. Save 50lbs.

Remove front and center diffs and replace with traction motor. Save 75lbs.

Add 92kwh battery, cooler, and controller. Add 600lbs.

Net weight gain of about 350lbs (about one Trump or average male American truck buyer).

Run that venerable, whooshy V6 at low RPMs in the most extreme possible lean burn Atkinson cycle for efficiency.

I’d guess closer to 28MPGs on refined dino juice. Fucking brilliant IMO.

Towing power? No problem, as it’s pretty much all about torque and not gross horsepower.

Original MP3
Original MP3
8 months ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

The base F-150 Lightning battery is 98kWh vs the 92kWh in this Ramcharger. A better comparison would be to take an F-150 Lightning and add the V6, fuel tank, exhaust, extra cooling, generator, and anything else needed to run the gas engine to it. And that doesn’t even include the fact that a normal Ram 1500 is usually about 700lbs heavier than an equivalent F-150.

This thing is going to be a pig.

JDE
JDE
8 months ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

Where are you coming up with the axles weighing more than the motors with axles attached?

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
8 months ago
Reply to  JDE

I’m 100% pulling rough guesstimates out of my perky ass.

Otherwise, pumpkins weight a lot and so driveshafts/U-joints. Like a lot more that people think. I’m positive the choice of series hybrid over an integrated motor/generator/transmission unit had to do with those barrel fish.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
8 months ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

So, axles are heavy, but do you really think 663hp worth of liquid cooled electric motors and controllers is lighter?

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
8 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Did you like not actually read what I wrote? No I don’t believe it’s lighter. Now go back and read it again.

Also take note that I never once mentioned axles because those get kept. In fact, I assume the axles will also weigh more because of the added torque (although depending on final drive ratios they could actually be lighter).

Does anyone know what the average goatee weighs? I’d guess about 300lbs.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
8 months ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

No you didn’t say the whole pickup would be lighter, but you said that deleting the pumpkin and replacing it with a motor would save 50 lbs. I think that a maybe 50lb half ton pumpkin weighs considerably less than a ~400hp electric motor.

When I said axle, I meant solid rear axle, although it’s not apples to apples because the electric version has independent suspension. Which is something else to account for, because a half ton solid axle with leaf springs is probably 200-300lb lighter than the 3/4 ton independent suspension that’s replacing it.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
8 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

You think a differential weighs only 50lbs?! The ring and pinion alone are 20lbs. Also, traction motors have gotten really light. Like amazingly so. You also forgot the drive shaft and such. I think you formed a quick opinion about my post and now can’t accept that opinion may have been incorrect. I stand by my wildly inaccurate, ass pulled numbers. 🙂

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
8 months ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

Driveshafts are light.

I think an entire half ton solid axle is 200lb at most, so maybe 50lb is low for just the pumpkin, but it’s certainly under 100. Maybe 70?

I don’t know how much traction motors weigh, but I do know that high voltage cables, a big ass motor controller, a 400hp motor, and a water pump and radiator add up to quite a bit of weight. I’m guessing more than 200lb.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
8 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Note that cables get lighter as voltage goes up. And again, traction motors have gotten astonishingly light. And driveshafts are about 25lbs, but U joints are quite heavy. My entire point is that by going series hybrid, a shit ton of mass is saved. These engineers seem to know what they are doing.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
8 months ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

That point would make sense if you hadn’t asserted earlier that a 92kwh battery and associated hardware is only 600lb. You know that’s bigger than any Teslas battery, right?

There’s a reason this has eight lug wheels. This thing is going to weigh over 7000lb dry.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
8 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Okay, receipt time. Here’s a list of bigger car batteries, Tesla included. The F150 Lightning has like 98kwh. My smart engineering point remains.

VinFast VF 9 Extended Range123.0
Lucid Air Dream Edition P118.0
Lucid Air Dream Edition R118.0
Lucid Air Grand Touring112.0
Lotus Eletre109.0
Lotus Eletre R109.0
Mercedes EQS SUV 500 4MATIC108.4
Mercedes EQS SUV 450+108.4
Mercedes EQS SUV 450 4MATIC108.4
Mercedes EQS SUV 580 4MATIC108.4
Mercedes EQS 450+108.4
Mercedes EQS 450 4MATIC108.4
Mercedes EQS 500 4MATIC108.4
Mercedes EQS 580 4MATIC108.4
Mercedes EQS AMG 53 4MATIC+108.4
Polestar 3 Long Range Dual motor107.0
Polestar 3 Long Range Performance107.0
Volvo EX90 Twin Motor107.0
Volvo EX90 Twin Motor Performance107.0
Fisker Ocean Ultra106.5
Fisker Ocean Extreme106.5
Fisker Ocean One106.5
Audi Q8 e-tron 55 quattro106.0
Audi Q8 e-tron Sportback 55 quattro106.0
Audi SQ8 e-tron106.0
Audi SQ8 e-tron Sportback106.0
BMW iX M60105.2
BMW iX xDrive50105.2
BMW i7 M70 xDrive101.7
BMW i7 eDrive50101.7
BMW i7 xDrive60101.7
Volvo EX90 Single Motor101.0
Rolls-Royce Spectre100.0
Peugeot e-3008 98 kWh Long Range98.0
Mercedes EQE SUV 500 4MATIC96.0
Mercedes EQE SUV 350+96.0
Kia EV9 99.8 kWh RWD95.0
Kia EV9 99.8 kWh AWD95.0
Maserati Grecale Folgore95.0
Tesla Model S Dual Motor95.0
Tesla Model S Plaid95.0
Tesla Model X Dual Motor95.0
Tesla Model X Plaid95.0
Kia EV9 99.8 kWh AWD GT-Line95.0
Polestar 4 Long Range Single Motor94.0
Polestar 4 Long Range Dual Motor94.0
Zeekr 001 Long Range RWD94.0
Zeekr 001 Performance AWD94.0
Zeekr 001 Privilege AWD94.0
XPENG G9 RWD Long Range93.1
XPENG G9 AWD Performance93.1
Lucid Air Touring92.0
Lucid Air Pure AWD92.0

Mike Honcho
Mike Honcho
8 months ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

Um, I believe he is only 215lbs. LOL

Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
8 months ago

That’s probably accurate, maybe even a little high. The Outlander PHEV gets mid 20s when it’s out of electrons, and it’s a similar configuration, and the RAM is, well, giant pickup truck vs a mid-size crossover.

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
8 months ago

Let’s be real here. This vehicle goes 0 – 60 MPH in 4.4 seconds, and can tow.

Anyone complaining about 20 – 25 MPG is being ridiculous.

This is EXACTLY the kind of vehicle North America needs right now.

EVDesigner
EVDesigner
8 months ago
Reply to  Doctor Nine

North America does not need another 3 ton pickup truck that’s used to pickup kids from school and take up 2 parking spaces in cities.

V10omous
V10omous
8 months ago
Reply to  EVDesigner

Whenever I read comments like this, I just laugh.

If this wasn’t available, do you honestly think the buyers would go “Aw shucks, can’t buy a PHEV truck, I guess I’m stuck getting a Prius!”???

Of course not, the idea is ridiculous. Any sales of this are replacing an ICE-only truck of the same size.

No amount of haughty comments or shaming attempts will convince Americans to buy smaller vehicles. If you want progress against CO2 emissions, things like this that can replace vehicles people actually want to buy are the absolute best thing possible.

EVDesigner
EVDesigner
8 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

The percentage of people who buy this that will actually charge at night is lower than you think. https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1138255_study-phevs-aren-t-plugged-in-as-often-as-regulators-assume

V10omous
V10omous
8 months ago
Reply to  EVDesigner

It’s unclear to me what that has to do with my point.

If some people waste their money buying a battery and never charge it, that is their problem.

The broader points that this won’t lead to a net increase in trucks on the road and will lead to a net decrease in gas used remains.

Sivad Nayrb
Sivad Nayrb
8 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

It’s easy for EDDesigner to post to useless dribble…

David Tracy
David Tracy
8 months ago
Reply to  EVDesigner

Let’s improve our infrastructure so that they’re compelled to plug in.

People with PHEVs WANT to use electricity; they just don’t because it’s inconvenient, so let’s fix that.

Last edited 8 months ago by David Tracy
Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
8 months ago
Reply to  David Tracy

This is why I follow your articles, David. You are just pointing out basic common sense. We aren’t where we want to be. But we can get there.

Amen and hallelujia.

Bearddevil
Bearddevil
8 months ago
Reply to  David Tracy

I’m having a NEMA 14-50 plug wired in to my garage next week so I can charge at my PHEV’s max, instead of the paltry rate I can get out of a Level 1 charger for just this reason. ~2 hours to charge vs ~12 makes a big difference in being able to drive in EV mode all the time.

Jeff Hager
Jeff Hager
8 months ago
Reply to  David Tracy

I have 2 PHEVs in my garage and driving them on electric is cheaper and a better experience. Let’s make it easier for everyone to plug in their cars.

EVDesigner
EVDesigner
8 months ago
Reply to  David Tracy

David the problem is that PHEV owners never plug in not because of infrastructure but because they rely solely on the gasoline engine to do everything for them. That’s what so many of them complain about not getting the 200mpg figure that’s claimed. Just think of how many Wrangler 4xe owners plug in. It’s an extremely small population.

KIP AMORE
KIP AMORE
8 months ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Dude, I’ve been digging deeply on this. So deeply that I actually forked over my $100 deposit. This is the turd we WANT.

Fastlane truck had an interview with the chief engineer, Joe Something Polish and hard to spell, he slipped a few details. The pentastar sits higher than normal in the truck due to the EDU under it, which is probably why they chose it over the I4 since a V engine should be shallower. That’ll dictate some different exhaust bits, but not much else.

V6 was probably chosen also because of cost, because with over 1 million sold per year I’d bet the G3 Pentastar is dirt cheap to produce, and it does everything it needs to do with BOSS reliability.

I studied the press materials as best as I could – does not look to me like the same generator from the Pacifica, which is basically an electric torque converter than works in both directions. But whatever it is, it bolts to the back of the block and is wonderfully slim and simple.

Also missing is a traditional starter, and an alternator. In fact, the whole front belt path is behind a cover. All it needs to turn is a water pump.

Did you know that water pumps NEVER fail on the pentastar, Mr Thermal Engineer? Never seen one actually fail, but seen them misdiagnosed constantly. Why isn’t there a holiday to celebrate this fact!

I did not see any manifolding to suggest that the V6 cooling system will supply heat to the battery. I kinda hope it doesnt, efficiency be damned.

Furious internet arguements aside, this turd should cost LESS and weigh LESS than it’s counterparts. A 92kwh battery is less than HALF the competition, and instead of costing $40,000 to replace it should cost closer to $20,000. And should weigh quite a bit less.

Also not mentioned by ANYONE is the idea that batteries degrade over time, but they rarely completely degrade. If this 130 mile range truck has only 60 miles of range in 10 years, who gives a shit because it’s got a genny onboard. If in 20 years it’s down to 40 miles of range, then it’s a Chevy Volt and everyone was happy with those. The point is that it should outlast ALL it’s pure BEV competition by dozens of years. Very cool.

Factoryhack
Factoryhack
8 months ago
Reply to  EVDesigner

For traditional plug-in hybrids, sure, overnight charging is entirely optional and won’t inhibit your usage other than not being able to run on battery only for 25-30 miles. The gas motor alone will get the job done just fine.

However, the Ramcharger is a completely different animal in that the gas motor is part of a series hybrid system. No one is going to regularly run around with zero charge and utilize just the power generation from the 174 HP from the V-6 to drive the two electric motors except in an emergency.

You’re study doesn’t apply at all to vehicles like this.

This truck seems to be a brilliant solution on so many levels.

JDE
JDE
8 months ago
Reply to  Factoryhack

The question i have then, is why did the Volt get replaced by the Bolt, and no series hybrid alternative get made? What were the less than brilliant reasons they did not sell like hotcakes? I admit I wanted one, but was put off by the small car size but big car prices back then. WIll the price of this system be more than say a basic 400 HP turbo six alternative?

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
8 months ago
Reply to  JDE

I don’t know enough about the Volt/Bolt question to answer you directly. However, I think the power disparity of this vehicle will cause more people to charge it. Running around with 174HP will piss off owners, when they could have 600ish. So I think that will rapidly encourage owners to adapt to charging so they have their higher power on hand.

And yes I think its a guarantee that this truck will cost noticeably more than the inline 6 Hurricane setup.

JumboG
JumboG
8 months ago
Reply to  Lockleaf

They really won’t be as limited as you think. You only use the 600HP a very small portion of the time, the rest of the time the excess capacity of the gas motor will recharge the batteries (it takes like 50HP to drive the truck down the road at 70 mph.)

Factoryhack
Factoryhack
8 months ago
Reply to  JDE

GM does what GM does, and not necessarily logical in their product decisions. Heck, the Bolt got cancelled too, and it was doing very well, (other than they were losing money on both it and the Volt).

For a truck usage scenario, the series hybrid is a great solution for people who really need the range. Keep in mind, Ram will be introducing a BEV version of their truck as well. Give people great options and they will flock to Ram.

And of course, the Ramcharger will cost more than the Hurricane 6. It provides more power and greater range than the Hurricane 6.

Again, options are a wonderful thing.

Yngve
Yngve
8 months ago
Reply to  JDE

Great question. I loved the OG Volt’s styling, and totally dug the concept. That said, the relatively low battery capacity, capacity throttling to ensure optimal battery life, and power output limitations when in hybrid run mode probably soured consumers.

The Bolt is a great car, but living in a place where climbing 7000′ mountain passes is a daily occurrence and 200+ mile road trips to visit my/my wife’s parents happen on the regular, I’d vastly prefer an updated PHEV (series or parallel) to mitigate range anxiety (especially since noone in our extended family has a charging station).

JDE
JDE
8 months ago
Reply to  Yngve

I distinctly remember Taking an early Honda Insight up the pass out of Denver into Utah. I honestly was not sure we would make it up that road, but the regen was quick on the way down. But I totally agree with your concerns.

Tomato Cards
Tomato Cards
8 months ago
Reply to  EVDesigner

This vehicle is MUCH different than any PHEV on the market right now. Many don’t plug in the PHEVs currently on the market. But a person choosing to buy something with a 92kWh battery is likely a person who intends to use it. Unlike the current PHEVs with minimal electric range. Who knows, though.

JumboG
JumboG
8 months ago
Reply to  EVDesigner

And that’s why, right now and for probably at least the next 5-10 years, the best use of batteries is to make standard hybrids. They get better hybrid mileage than PHEVs because they are carrying around less weight all the time and you can make 2-4 of them for every PHEV you make.

Ron888
Ron888
8 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

I like that you turned this completely out of it’s context and somehow justified america’s continued use of cars massively heavier than neccesary.

V10omous
V10omous
8 months ago
Reply to  Ron888

It’s not “necessary” for anyone to drive a car any more exciting than a Corolla, but all of us here (hopefully) understand why sports cars, hot hatches, convertibles, etc exist.

What a sad, pathetic world it would be if no one drove any more than what was “necessary” in your mind.

OptionXIII
OptionXIII
8 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

I love it when people bring up sports cars vs trucks as if that’s a reasonable comparison just because they’re both not a family sedan. Sure, if you ignore everything about the impact in the real world, it’s basically the same thing.

As a percentage of cars on the road, how many sports cars, hot hatches, and convertibles weigh 6,000 pounds, block sightlines for other drivers, take up more parking space, and are demonstrably more deadly to pedestrians as trucks are? What portion of that tiny volume of cars you mentioned has any of those characteristics? Compare that to the number of trucks on the road and get back to me.

Drive what you want, fine. I’m just annoyed at having to live in a society where ever increasing amounts of more are never enough.

V10omous
V10omous
8 months ago
Reply to  OptionXIII

I’m just annoyed at having to live in a society where ever increasing amounts of more are never enough.

North Korea must be right up your alley then.

Seriously this bitterness is ridiculous. People like trucks. I’m sorry that makes you upset, but it’s the truth.

Here we have something that aims to make driving a truck an order of magnitude less bad for the earth, and still we get the bitterness.

JDE
JDE
8 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

I mean The poor challenger guys get this guys wrath as well. They are not 6,000 lbs, but are called boats because they are, well kind of big for a sporty car, they don’t block sight lines for anything except maybe the Miata types. They are noisy, so automatically bad, yet the number of fart piped hot hatches and Hondas that are driven in the wrong gear to induce “Cackles” for the that peacocking crowd are ignored. Nobody is ever going to be really happy.

V10omous
V10omous
8 months ago
Reply to  JDE

It blows me away how many people either can’t understand or don’t care that others legitimately enjoy driving different vehicles than they do, and that some minor inconveniences are not worth being miserable about (or restricting others’ freedom to enjoy what they like)

Ron888
Ron888
8 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Holey crap did you really say that?An an order of magnitude better for the earth?
Did you even the article? This is getting hilarious

OptionXIII
OptionXIII
8 months ago
Reply to  Ron888

He’s jousting with strawmen, don’t attempt to tether him to reality.

OptionXIII
OptionXIII
8 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Can you at least attempt to have a good faith discussion? The hyperbole and blatant misreading of other people’s comments you’re doing is absurd.

“I’m annoyed by this, but do what you want.” – Me.

“Oh wow, look at this guy that wants to live in a communist dictatorship!” – You

Last edited 8 months ago by OptionXIII
V10omous
V10omous
8 months ago
Reply to  OptionXIII

You have one throwaway line about how people should do what they want, after a diatribe on how bad trucks are, and how much they inconvenience or offend you personally.

Parking size? Give me a fucking break dude. 6000 lb? Who gives a shit. Sightlines? Come on. I’m sorry your life was made infinitesimally worse just now because some bad redneck drove a truck to the store.

No, I’m not taking your comment in good faith, sorry.

There’s altogether too many people on this site who are obsessed with what people “need” vs what they enjoy driving. “Needs” being defined and litigated only by the commenter of course.

You: “No one NEEDS a big truck, and because I can’t see around it at a stop sign, I’m going to complain on every truck article about how INCREASING AMOUNTS OF MORE ARE NEVER ENOUGH”.

Me: “None of us drive only what we NEED, we’re enthusiasts and we all like different kinds of vehicles”

You: “Hyperbole! Blatent misreading! Sports cars aren’t trucks!”

Once you start limiting choices based on what someone else thinks you need, I assure you the limitations won’t stop at trucks.

Last edited 8 months ago by V10omous
OptionXIII
OptionXIII
8 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Well at least now I know to never bother attempting to have a discussion with you again. Cheers!

Last edited 8 months ago by OptionXIII
Sivad Nayrb
Sivad Nayrb
8 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Ron888 is free to move to Russia and drive a Lada or GAZ…

Yngve
Yngve
8 months ago
Reply to  EVDesigner

Perhaps not, if that’s the use case.

However, for those of us who use a truck for ‘truck things’ (towing a trailer; hauling construction supplies, occasionally camping in the bed, carting bikes around, making runs to the dump, taking the dogs [3] out into the backcountry for hikes, carting paddleboards out to the lake, heading up to the mountain through deep snow with skis in the back, etc.), isn’t it better to have an alternative that does better than 15mpg city/9mpg with a 4000# camper in tow (true for my 2015 Ram 1500, living in the mountains)?

Full disclosure, as I near 10 years/200,000 miles in my truck, I’ll probably replace it with a 2025+ Ram running the Hurricane i6 (slightly more power in base tune, more efficient, plus a turbo to partially account for living at 6800′), but I’ll at least take a very hard look at the Ramcharger before I pull the trigger.

JDE
JDE
8 months ago
Reply to  Doctor Nine

it really is the best in betweener. for the majority of the time it will just get topped off at night with a 110 charger. on the rare occasions the truck has to be driven far, it can still be charged at a charging station or if one is unavailable gas it up and go. Price is currently the big deal with EV everything it seems like, so you have to admit the price i will influence many a decision here, but I could see these being fleet darlings since they offer many of the benefits of the lightning worktrucks, with few of the extreme downsides. but again price will rule the day there too.

Brett Chandler
Brett Chandler
8 months ago

I’m not a massive fan of range extenders, but it occurs to me there’s a bit of an opportunity here that a full BEV doesn’t get: in cold temperatures can the Ramcharger use engine heat to keep the traction battery toasty?

Detroit-Lightning
Detroit-Lightning
8 months ago
Reply to  Brett Chandler

That’s how it worked in the Volt, so I’d assume so here.

I think our RAV4 Prime does something similar with cabin heating, though it’s only tied in to certain settings like defrost.

Brett Chandler
Brett Chandler
8 months ago

The one unquestionable benefit to having an ICE engine is the abundance of waste heat you get at your disposal.

Scoutdude
Scoutdude
8 months ago
Reply to  Brett Chandler

Not only the heat in the cooling system but also the heat from the exhaust. There are a number of hybrid and PHEVs that use a heat exchanger after the cat that is used to warm up the engine and HVAC quicker and condition the battery.

Cerberus
Cerberus
8 months ago

It sounds like the engine is only a generator, so it probably runs at a constant torque. Whatever that corresponding hp and BSFC of that engine at that rpm to meet charging requirements is would give you gallons per hour. That would have to be figured against whatever speed the vehicle would be averaging during that time. Of course, that speed will vary, but since it seems like the load isn’t going to vary much, it should be easier to figure an average than a drive engine. Someone was quoting 175hp, which seems high to me, but using that for a rough calculation of mechanical hp to BTUs/gallon of gasoline, 175hp would use 3.56 gallons/hr. if traveling an average of 60 mph, that would be under 17 mpg. Of course, that’s ignoring a lot of factors, I think it should be ballpark. Yikes, maybe my math is wrong, it was never my strongest subject.

Last edited 8 months ago by Cerberus
Tomato Cards
Tomato Cards
8 months ago
Reply to  Cerberus

well … you wouldn’t need 175hp to motor along at an average speed of 60 mpg (unless towing or etc. which of course would decrease mpg) so the engine may run at 175hp output long enough to recharge the battery up to whatever preset percentage, but if you are just doing a constant speed of 60mpg it will then shut off since not that much power will be needed to keep driving at that speed

Cerberus
Cerberus
8 months ago
Reply to  Tomato Cards

Right, I don’t know how to figure that as I don’t really have a lot of information here. What is the anticipated demand for the battery and typical engine duty cycle according to the EPA test (which as much as I don’t like it, is what all vehicles sold in the US are tested to, which at least offers some standardized comparison between competitors), etc.? Someone else quoted 175hp, so I just used that as a number for full load recharging, but I don’t even know if that’s an accurate number at all or how it reacts to electrical demand—does it run high load 175hp (or whatever the peak number is) whenever it runs or does it vary output according to some algorithm that continually reacts to power demand? In reality, yeah, I can’t see it running a high load, high duty cycle like that unless there’s a situation that would require full load from the battery and engine combo, like long-distance towing, which is unlikely to be an everyday event. Like, let’s say the truck needs 35hp (or I should say 26kW) to do 70 mph. Does the generator wait until the battery is, say, 70% depleted before kicking on and recharging the battery back up (high load, less frequent duty cycle) or does it more or less continually keep it topped up (light load, more frequent duty cycle or does it run a combination? Whatever the case, it seems like the numbers the EPA will end up quoting vs real world results the consumer gets will vary considerably more than for a regular vehicle depending on how it’s used and, even though I have no interest in owning this vehicle or one of its type, I’m pretty interested to know how the mileage situation will end up.

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
8 months ago

This is the second time that the Pentastar V6 in the Ramcharger has been called ‘Big’.
I don’t think that 3.6 L is that big of a V6. Please allow me to propose the following:
<3.0 L = Small v6
3.0 L to <4.0 L = Medium size V6
4.0L and up = Big V6

David Tracy
David Tracy
8 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Metcalf

In the U.S., I agree with this. UNLESS we’re talking about a range extender like we are here; 3.6 is huge for a ReX.

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
8 months ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Fair point.

Tomato Cards
Tomato Cards
8 months ago

Agree with those saying 20 sounds about right, maybe a little high … folks going for this option will likely be planning to stay in all-electric mode whenever possible. 20 will be a reasonable compromise when going on long trips. Just like all PHEVs on the market today, if you are driving it without charging, or if most of your trips significantly exceed your battery only range, a regular hybrid will be better for your use case because you don’t have to haul around a super duper heavy battery.

Mrbrown89
Mrbrown89
8 months ago

Our Pacifica PHEV doesn’t get that much of a better MPG compared to the regular one. We see 28-30mpg combined that is pretty decent for a van.

This one use the same 3.6 engine detuned compared to the regular Pacifica, and the engine is loud when you have no battery at all. Also the engine activates after 50% of gas pedal that I hate because you have to be careful, I dont know how reliable is to kick on a dead cold engine from zero to 75% of load just like that (merging on the highway for example), the coolant and engine oil are cold, the engine RPMs are high, you can hear the engine suffering.

In the Chevy Volt the engine will not turn on even if you press the gas pedal to 100% of demand, weird choice from Chrysler in this vehicle.

3WiperB
3WiperB
8 months ago
Reply to  Mrbrown89

The CT6 PHEV does kick on the engine past a certain point of gas pedal.

I like the approach with our 330e because you can select how it performs. In electric mode it won’t turn on the engine. In my hybrid mode it will turn on the engine past about 50 percent throttle. In Xtra Boost mode, it’s running primarily on gas and using full engine power, plus boosts from the electric to provide additional power under acceleration. There’s a few other variations of the modes too, that let you customize a few things. They also change the regen feel based on mode. It’s very customizable.

I expect the RAM will do better than 20 mpg, since regen will improve the city economy considerably. I’d expect 23-24 on the interstate. It’s still a big truck with even more weight than an ICE. It should do much better in the city test though.

Amschroeder5
Amschroeder5
8 months ago

20 MPG is truly abysmal if that is the combined or heaven forbid… the hwy rating. The F-150 AWD Hybrid is 20% higher than that, combined and HWY. The V6 turbo rated at 26…. HWY (30%! higher). (Similar enough for Ram as well)

This is like if a Prius got 52 MPG and the Prius Prime only got 35 MPG. Or if the non-phev Volt got 45 mpg instead.

Tomato Cards
Tomato Cards
8 months ago
Reply to  Amschroeder5

Well … it would be like if Toyota made a Prius Prime Long Range that got 140 miles of all electric range, and then in hybrid mode it got 35 MPG – which would a small passenger version of this truck, basically. And I think it would be a great vehicle, too.

Brett Chandler
Brett Chandler
8 months ago
Reply to  Amschroeder5

That’s 20 MPG running strictly on the gas engine. That’s honestly outstanding for that big/heavy a vehicle.

I’m going to guess we’ll see this drivetrain a LOT in Jeeps and other Ram trucks in the coming years.

Amschroeder5
Amschroeder5
8 months ago
Reply to  Brett Chandler

It isn’t outstanding though. Look at the equivalents by both ford and ram. They are quite a bit better already.

Peter Andruskiewicz
Peter Andruskiewicz
8 months ago
Reply to  Amschroeder5

Why is that abysmal, given what we know about this truck? The regular V6 version has a 10 speed auto that keeps it pretty close to its minimum BSFC islands, so operating the V6 at an “ideal” speed and load won’t get you much better. You can get some energy back on-cycle through regenerative braking. You lose some efficiency by hauling around an extra 800 lbs of battery (the incremental increase for the prius to PHEV is nowhere near this amount). However, with this pure series hybrid configuration, you’ll see energy conversion losses of 15-20% going from mechanical to electrical back to mechanical. Avoiding these losses is exactly the reason that the Volt still had a mechanical path that could be used at highway speeds between the engine and the wheels, even if that made it less “pure” in some peoples’ eyes.

So, say you start at 21 mpg combined, gain 10% from brake regen, 5% from running the engine at peak efficiency all the time, but lose 20% from energy conversion and you end up at 20 mpg. Sounds about right to me.

Last edited 8 months ago by Peter Andruskiewicz
Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
8 months ago

I suspect the mileage will be a bit higher than that in practice. The stated all-electric range indicates about 50 mpg-equivalent when operating in all-electric mode without any payload or towing involved. If the engine is running to keep the batteries charged after they are run down to, say 50% charge (or whenever the generator kicks in), then the overall mpg will be lessened significantly. Rough guess that overall mpg rating will come out somewhere in the 30-mpg range. Not outstanding, but pretty damn good for a full-sized truck and I have to say it’s a great looking truck with the perfect re-use of an old nameplate.

DrDanteIII
DrDanteIII
8 months ago

20mpg running on the gas engine “only” isn’t horrible. This thing will probably weigh 7000+ lbs the current Ram 1500 v6 hybrid is in the low 5000lb range.

Also, I have a feeling the pentastar will never run “flat out”. Hooked to a 175hp rated generator, and based on a random internet dyno graph the current one would have to run at about 4500rpm to turn said generator. I’d assume one optimized for generator duty could probably push that lower somehwat.

Detroit-Lightning
Detroit-Lightning
8 months ago

20 seems about right, if not optimistic, just based on my experience with a Gen 1 Volt (which got between 30-35mpg when running on gas).

Pat Albrecht
Pat Albrecht
8 months ago

Pentastars are somewhere in the neighborhood of 275-310 hp. How is the generator strapped to this one only 175? I understand there will be some loss of efficiency but that’s a lot.

alwaysbroke
alwaysbroke
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Albrecht

I’ve been wondering this too. I’m sure ram knows its customer’s use case better than me, but I would have gone with a larger generator (say 250 hp) and a smaller battery pack (say 50-75 miles or ev range), which I bet would be cheaper and more flexible.

Njd
Njd
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Albrecht

Since it’s not mechanically connected, maybe that’s the max HP the electric motors could produce while being charged by the motor without a net negative battery charge?

DrDanteIII
DrDanteIII
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Albrecht

I’m guessing that it will be tuned to run at a lower RPM and produce about 200hp to spin that genererator. The current pentastart would make that at just over 4500rpm.

UnseenCat
UnseenCat
8 months ago
Reply to  DrDanteIII

That’s what I’m thinking too. Tuned to deliver an optimal continuous HP output at low-to-mid RPMs and optimized for the characteristics of driving the generator.

I’m wondering if they’re going to delete the VVT complexity and just run it with an optimized camshaft and fuel mapping. In this config it’s not about peak HP output, but rather continuous HP and optimal torque.

Livinglavidadidas
Livinglavidadidas
8 months ago
Reply to  UnseenCat

Assuming that valve timing works well with lots of engine restarts that sounds like the most efficient path.

Darnon
Darnon
8 months ago
Reply to  UnseenCat

It’s probably a modified-Atkinson/Miller cycle which makes VVT a necessity to fine tune the variable displacement aspect where it burps some of the intake charge out by holding the valve open into the compression stroke.

LastStandard
LastStandard
8 months ago
Reply to  DrDanteIII

I’ll preface this with I know absolutely nothing about parallel hybrid generators, but your typical gas engine turning an AC generator runs at 3600 rpm. Looking up dyno runs of the Pentastar (that seem to be mostly posted by Wrangler owners..) shows it making about 150hp to the tires at 3600rpm. Taking into account the possibly 25%+ drivetrain losses of a Wrangler puts the Pentastar right around 190hp @ 3600rpm. Some tinkering by Stellantis to fit this application and everything seems to line up.

Alright – I was curious so did some googling on the i3 setup. Looks like that’s set up to idle at 2400rpm, steady state continuous charging at 3600 rpm and can run up to 4300rpm if it needs some extra juice. I’d guess the Ramcharger would be set up similarly.

JumboG
JumboG
8 months ago
Reply to  LastStandard

AC generators run at that engine speed because it’s a easy multiple of the 60hz cycle our grid runs on. Recharging a DC battery means it’s not locked into that RPM.

Last edited 8 months ago by JumboG
LastStandard
LastStandard
8 months ago
Reply to  JumboG

Yup! But the decision by them to use a 130kw generator and the output of the Pentastar being at those levels around 3600 rpm seems like a pretty nice coincidence.

Alexk98
Alexk98
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Albrecht

That’s a great question and the reasoning over the use of a Pentastar over a 4-cyl is actually pretty interesting from an efficiency standpoint. The biggest reason I suspect will come down to thermal efficiency of the system, rather than peak output of a given engine. I sounds counterintuitive to say that a big V6 that can output double the generator power will somehow be MORE efficient than a smaller turbo-4 that matches that generator output, but a larger (relatively) engine can hit higher thermal efficiency percentages at lower load than a smaller engine at higher RPM/Load can.

I strongly suspect that because of this, the V6 in the Ramcharger will likely never go near redline or be particularly stressed because it will be operating in the most thermally efficient range possible. The best way to explain it is with BSFC or Brake Specific Fuel Consumption, which is a way to describe the amount of fuel required to output a specific amount of Torque (and Horsepower is a function of torque and engine speed, so roughly analogous). This is why a C7 corvette is able to get highway fuel economy in the 30s, while my little 1.6L NA miata cant, the corvette can basically idle down the highway at 75mph, while my NA is screaming at close to 4k RPM, and the same principle applies here.

For a better explaination of BSFC check out the wikipedia page HERE

Alexk98
Alexk98
8 months ago
Reply to  Alexk98

Also, to add to the efficiency conversation, I’m not sure if it’s been detailed or not, but I’d be interested to see if they re-tooled some components and management of the Pentastar to run on an Atkinson cycle like they do in Pacifica Hybrids (according to Wikipedia at least). The difference in combustion cycle does lower peak output, but raises thermal efficiency of combustion over an equivalent output on a standard Otto-Cycle combustion regime.

What the Atkinson cycle do in simple terms is keep the intake valves open slightly during the compression stroke for a few degrees, effectively lowering the compression ratio, but keep the expansion ratio of the combusted gas/air explosion the same, allowing more work to be done on the piston, increasing the percentage of energy extracted from the combustion process.

MP81
MP81
8 months ago
Reply to  Alexk98

This would be my guess as well – especially considering they already have that engine in the Pacific (assuming it works in a longitudinal setup).

The Gen 2 Volts also use an Atkinson-cycle 1.5L (which I presume is related to the 1.5T available in the Equinox/Terrain and Malibu). It doesn’t need any sort of crazy amounts of power – just enough to effectively keep up with battery re-charging at a similar rate that the vehicle outputs during heavy or max throttle.

Last edited 8 months ago by MP81
3WiperB
3WiperB
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Albrecht

Since it’s running as a generator only, they will try to run it in the RPM range where it is most efficient rather than running at peak HP.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Albrecht

Because car engines are rated for peak horsepower output. That 300hp engine will explode if you ask it to output 300hp for six hours straight.

Generator engines are rated for continuous power output. A 175hp generator will happily and efficiently output 175hp as long as you need it to.

Every 300hp car engine is a ~175hp generator engine, just because that’s the continuous output rating.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Albrecht

I’d assume if its in a hybrid its using the Adkinson cycle to maximize efficency.

World24
World24
8 months ago

I’d have to imagine running a 4-cylinder turbo might use up the same amount of fuel at a constant speed with the 3.6 too. Maybe I’m wrong.

Tomato Cards
Tomato Cards
8 months ago
Reply to  World24

I think so too. But with a lot more strain on the four banger than will be put on the 3.6.

Peter Andruskiewicz
Peter Andruskiewicz
8 months ago
Reply to  World24

It doesn’t matter what the peak power of the engine is; what matters is the efficiency is over the range of powers that the generator requires. Turbo engines can do well in non-hybrid vehicles because the smaller engine does better at low loads since it’ll be less throttled and have lower friction, but at higher loads (getting into boost) it’ll be worse than a bigger NA engine since typically there is some fuel enrichment (injecting extra fuel to cool the compressed gas) and retarded combustion (reducing peak pressures and temperatures) to prevent knock.

Plus, larger NA engines are cheaper to make than smaller boosted engines. Being able to spin the engine slower to make the same power will also help with NVH, especially when starting and stopping the engine. In this light, the Pentastar V6 makes much more sense than the Hurricane I4

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
8 months ago

I sure hope it’s better than 20 because if it isn’t this is a lot of effort and resources for not much of a gain. I have similar complaints about the 4Xe products which essentially don’t offer any fuel economy improvement despite being hybrids. Obviously a sizable all electric range will offset a lot of that but if it essentially just performs like a regular full sized truck once that range is used up that’s…not great?

Especially considering how resource/carbon intensive building these will be. Feel free to correct me if I’m way off here, I very well might be.

V10omous
V10omous
8 months ago

But that’s the way all plug-ins are. The Volt didn’t get any better mileage than the regular compact car it was once the battery was depleted. The Pacifica is the same way. How could they? It’s the same engine in the same body but carrying extra dead weight around.

The appeal of this is massive around town range, or decent range towing/hauling with no gas. If you’re road tripping or towing all the time, just buy the gas model. I’m guessing the typical buyer of this will be using battery 90%+ of the time.

Last edited 8 months ago by V10omous
Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
8 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Not all, actually. Most of the German PHEVs and the Volvo ones get a slight fuel economy boost over their ICE counterparts. Toyota has figured out how to do it with their Prime products as well. They get fuel economy that’s nearly as good as their traditional hybrid counterparts.

V10omous
V10omous
8 months ago

I’m not really seeing it.

Volvo looks like they get 28 combined out of a gas only S60 and 30 combined out of the plug-in.

BMW gets 29 from a 330i and 27 on gas from a 330e. Or 23 from an X5 40i vs 20 from a 45e.

A Prius Prime gets 48-52 mpg on gas vs a regular Prius at 52. A Rav4 Prime gets 38 vs 40 for the gas model.

In general, I’d say you should expect the same mileage plus or minus a couple. This Ram gets 20 mpg without the plug in, I’d expect about the same on gas only.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
8 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

The X5 is now the 50e in 2023 and got a massive battery/electric motor upgrade. Unfortunately my quick googling isn’t turning up anything other than MPGe from the electric motor, but I’m fairly certain the entire powertrain offers an upgrade over the 40i.

The 330e is unfortunately a compliance car for the European market. It definitely doesn’t make the most of the technology.

V10omous
V10omous
8 months ago

I admit to not being an expert, I just scrolled on the fueleconomy dot gov page for anything that had a PHEV drivetrain.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
8 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

All good amigo! I enjoy being able to discuss this stuff because I’m not really an expert either.

Drew
Drew
8 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

A Prius Prime gets 48-52 mpg on gas vs a regular (hybrid) Prius at 52. A Rav4 Prime gets 38 vs 40 for the gas hybrid model.

Those are the sorts of benchmarks that some of us really hope for–PHEV should get close to the hybrid, not the gasser. My Niro PHEV is rated 46, and the equivalent trim in hybrid is rated 43 (though one trim down is 49).

The 4xe is especially bad, as it gets worse economy than the non-hybrid I4.

This one is really hard to get a read on, because it is supposed to be an EV with a range extender. In theory, it shouldn’t be run as a gas vehicle very often, so the efficiency may not be as important here. I think this is acceptable efficiency, if true, because of the primary EV use.

Last edited 8 months ago by Drew
V10omous
V10omous
8 months ago
Reply to  Drew

Good catch, perhaps Toyota really has figured out something the others haven’t.

Livinglavidadidas
Livinglavidadidas
8 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

I think technically all Volvos are mild hybrids now so there isn’t a pure gas s60 anymore but I don’t know any stats on capacity or MPG improvement so this may be a pedantic statement

Tomato Cards
Tomato Cards
8 months ago

It largely comes down to the size of the PHEV battery I think – the Volt has a relatively large/heavy PHEV battery compared to the Primes. So once it is discharged there is a lot more dead weight. The Toyota Primes have smaller batteries so less of an impact vs their pure hybrid stablemates.

Ben
Ben
8 months ago

I’m not aware of another PHEV that can do almost 150 miles on electric, so I don’t think you can do an apples-to-apples comparison. That big battery is going to hurt economy in pure gas mode since it’s just dead weight at that point, but it should massively increase the overall efficiency since you’ll be able to do a lot of trips with zero gas whatsoever.

I suspect anyone who is driving their truck far enough often enough to run this on gas the majority of the time is actually in a 2500 or 3500 because they’re driving professionally. This is for weekend warriors (like me) who will spend 90% of their time driving around on battery, but a few times a year want to be able to tow a trailer 200+ miles.

alwaysbroke
alwaysbroke
8 months ago

I think it depends on your use case. a plug in hybrid with 40+ miles of range would cover 90% of my driving at 1/4 the of gas. I would be happy to have 10% of my miles at 20 mpg with 90% at 100 mpg (from a cost perspective). If you are regularly exceeding the ev range (or don’t charge at home) it makes less sense.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
8 months ago

My take on this is that the idea is you can run as an EV for what is realistically for most people 80-90% of their driving that is done within 40 miles of home-BUT you have the range for road trips, especially reduces range concerns when towing that have been raised about the Ford Lightning. Bummer if overall mileage isn’t improved much, a part of me wonders if it would be more real to factor in the EV range + gas range as a total combined figure which would get you closer to what it’s making vs a typical hybrid. Though admittedly on a typical long road trip you may not readily get a second chance to top off the battery.

V10omous
V10omous
8 months ago

My guess is that Ram couldn’t earn their tow rating without the truck being able to pull the load up Davis Dam at any possible state of charge.

Since the V6 alone isn’t going to be able to pull a 14,000 lb trailer (it looks like a regular Pentastar Ram is rated at 6000-7500 depending on trim), there’s no way the software can allow the battery to run out during normal operation (ie, unless you purposely run the gas tank dry or something).

David Tracy
David Tracy
8 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Davis Dam ain’t that long, though. It’ll do it on EV, no problem.

Last edited 8 months ago by David Tracy
V10omous
V10omous
8 months ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Yeah agreed from a full charge, but that isn’t what I meant.

If the truck allows you to get the battery to 20% charge, and you at that exact moment approach the bottom of Davis Dam with 14,000 lb behind, you’re likely screwed. So the software needs to prevent that state from taking place IMO. Otherwise the towing rating is not truly accurate.

David Tracy
David Tracy
8 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

I’d have to read J2807 to see if that matters when it comes to achieving the official rating…

But real world, for sure.

Drew
Drew
8 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

As far as I can see (which, admittedly, isn’t the full picture, since I don’t want to pay to see the full text), the standard doesn’t require the vehicle perform the test at all potential states of charge/fueling or take into account split powertrains. I wonder if the towing capacity is going to have an asterisk to indicate it’s only with an appropriate level of charge. One also has to wonder how well the engine will keep up with charging when towing, even if it does try to keep the charge above X%.

Hopefully, we’ll see an update to J2807 that accounts for PHEV/RXEV towing capacities and we’ll find out Ram has tested and accounted for all use cases.

Last edited 8 months ago by Drew
V10omous
V10omous
8 months ago
Reply to  Drew

Yeah I can see this being a big deal, especially if PHEV is the eventual replacement in HD trucks that won’t be able to go EV for a very long time, if ever.

And a truck running out of juice (with gas in the tank) while towing a load within the maximum rating would be a PR nightmare for Ram and their advertising of the truck’s capability. So I expect them to be conservative.

Drew
Drew
8 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Yeah, I’m expecting the engine will kick on really early when towing, because you are right that it would kill their reputation to have that happen.

I’m really interested to see how it all works in practice.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
8 months ago

It would be interesting for the truck to be able to interact with, say, the in car nav system.

The driver could set a destination, and the range extender could then optimize charging to maximize economy and avoid situations where power would have to be restricted.

Scoutdude
Scoutdude
8 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Yup that is the way to do it, put the destination into the NAV, detect if there is something plugged into the trailer connector and adjust operating strategy accordingly.

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