Home » Ram Is Reportedly Readying An Electric ProMaster Van, Midsize Pickup Truck

Ram Is Reportedly Readying An Electric ProMaster Van, Midsize Pickup Truck

2023 Ram Promaster Front 3/4

While the Ram 1500 REV is arriving a little bit late to the electric pickup truck game, it seems like Ram is only getting started with its plans for the 2020s. Although the rumor mill has been churning for a while, recent comments from the head of the brand put some weight behind theories that interesting things are in the pipeline like a potential electric van and—finally—a smaller truck.

Smaller pickup trucks are hot right now. The Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz are runaway successes. Going up a size, the Toyota Tacoma never fails to print money. Chevrolet has the Colorado (and maybe a baby EV truck someday) GMC has the Canyon, Honda has the Ridgeline and Nissan has the Frontier. It turns out that a lot of people don’t necessarily want the bulk or expense of a half-ton truck. So where’s Ram in all of this?

Ram Dakota

Well, Ram is allegedly working on a midsize pickup truck of its own, the first since the old Dodge/Ram Dakota that peaced out in 2011, pictured above. Speaking to Motor Trend, Ram boss Mike Koval Jr. confirmed the existence of the project and said, “We can clinic it to see if it’s the right truck.”

What this means is that an under-development midsize Ram truck can be shown off at dealer meetings in the future, and Koval reportedly claims that will happen in March. It’s possible for this midsize truck to be unibody or body-on-frame, the former of which is arguably more exciting as it means that the Ridgeline would finally have competition. (Editor’s note: If you’re a unibody truck skeptic, check out this thing David wrote a few years back at the old site; it’s one of my favorite pieces of his, and it makes a convincing case. -PG)

2023 Ram Promaster Front 3/4

Mind you, before a midsize truck or even the Ram 1500 REV gets into customer hands, Ram is said to have another interesting product on the way. Ram’s ProMaster vans get the short straw of the commercial vehicle pack. Nobody wants to end up with one, partly because it’s ancient compared to the Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and partly because it doesn’t have the same impeccable track record as the GM vans. However, that might be about to change. According to that Motor Trend report, electric ProMaster vans will be rolling out for Amazon delivery duty later this year.

The timing of this project seems right as Ford has the E-Transit and Mercedes-Benz is about to launch the eSprinter, so an early foothold in the electric cargo van market gives Ram the opportunity to reshape the ProMaster’s image.

What’s more, the front-wheel-drive layout seems perfect for EV use as it means not having to package a motor or an independent rear suspension system underneath the cargo floor.

Ram 1500 Rev Front Three Quarters
Ram 1500 REV front three-quarters

Eventually, the entire Ram lineup will be electrified in some form, although it’s worth noting that an electrified vehicle isn’t the same thing as an electric vehicle. From 48-volt mild hybrid systems to series-parallel hybrid powertrains to plug-in hybrid powertrains to all-electric powertrains, the world of electrification is rather diverse.

As it stands, much EV legislation pointed towards light trucks doesn’t affect three-quarter-ton or one-ton trucks, so there should be more wiggle room in that space for combustion. As it stands though, we’ll just have to wait and see what the future brings.

(Photo credits: Ram)

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27 Responses

  1. Enough of this tiny dancer EV vans. About 90% of the product going to grocery stores at one time or another rides in a 16 to 28 foot box truck. Think Uhauls. Now i aint seen shit of a EV that would replace ICE box trucks. And little crappy vans hauling 800 pounds will not stop one cigarettes worth of pollution. I hauled tens of thousands of pounds of just tortilla shells. There is chips and bread trucks hauling large loads. I raised this before. Lets forget teeny vans delivering 10 FTD floral bouquets and admit EV cant deliver real loads.

    1. Eh, I think they can work well if they’re built properly for their use case.

      For BEV vans that seems to be last mile delivery and urban delivery to urban stores. Places where range isn’t an issue so you can afford to make them with smaller and lighter battery packs which doesn’t reduce the payload much and in exchange you minimize the pollution from said delivery vans in cities where pollution is the norm.

    2. Around here, lightweight groceries such as bread or chips are delivered in box trucks based on Ford or RAM van cab-and-chassis. I’m pretty sure if they can make an EV van, they can make an EV cab-and-chassis.

      1. Sure. Which is fine for lightweight dry goods going last-mile. Dave’s “can’t haul real loads” aside, that is the real problem.
        Let us consider a more reasonable grocery delivery – dairy products. Which are always a last-mile thing. First problem: you need a refrigeration unit. Now besides the fact that those things pollute like all fuck (CFCs, and small emissions exempt diesel engine inside,) that’s no small amount of power demand. For a last-mile dairy truck, you’re typically talking about a 9.9kW demand for that reefer.
        That ain’t a typo. And that’s way better than it used to be. And that’s the little over-the-cab box truck ones, not the full-front of a trailer one. So that’s 9.9kW of draw the entire time the vehicle is carrying a load. We’ll give it the no-more-lossy-belts advantage and call it 9.5kW.
        So let’s say it’s an 8 hour shift for that last-mile dairy truck with 1 hour pre-cooling needed. That’s a whopping 90kWh just straight up GONE from your batteries, or more than the total usable capacity of a Ford F150 Lightning standard.

        Now go look at the F150’s range when towing. Reduced by over 50% and that’s not even carrying it on the frame, it’s just pulling something with relatively low friction. How much you think a 26 foot dairy truck weighs loaded? 20,000lbs? 25,000lbs?
        A gallon of milk weighs 8.6lbs. Each gallon. Those gallons are containerized, so call it 9lbs per gallon roughly. And we’ll say that our hypothetical last-mile dairy truck is carrying 3,000 gallon jugs of milk.
        That’s 27,000lbs, not including the 14,000lbs+ of diesel Freightliner under it.

        And you literally cannot get a more typical, expected, or accurate last-mile truck than that. You can’t. Because unlike potato chips and pretzels, even refrigerated, milk spoils. Stores have to be replenished every 1-3 days, even if they don’t sell a drop.
        There’s no fucking way you’re electrifying that in the next decade unless you’re changing your tune on FCVs. 14,000lbs base truck chassis. Subtract 2,000lbs for the engine and transmission, add 3,000lbs just for the reefer batteries, then 3,000lbs for every 90kWh of motive power, and your truck is no longer even remotely legal. And the grocery store’s parking lot is destroyed.

        1. Last mile milk delivery in urban areas? You mean a milk float? They’ve been electric in the UK since the 1930’s (yes, almost 100 years ago).
          They’re a lot smaller and simpler than what you’re proposing above. Generally they’re not refrigerated (often they’re not even enclosed), and they only weigh about 1800kg. Often floats originally built in the 1960’s are still in use, because they still do everything required of the job, and they cost pennies to run. They’re also a byword in the UK for being slow (less than 10mph).

          Outside of urban areas they’re often diesels instead of BEV, but most still aren’t refrigerated. These days they’ve mostly been replaced by supermarkets selling milk, rather than home delivery, but they are still used.

        2. Okay, you mentioned milk and chips for last mile deliveries. I have an idea. Chip bags are mostly air. Let’s replace the air with Hydrogen gas (He is too expensive these days and green H2 is just around the corner). We could then make a sort of delivery blimp using the potato chip bags in a large net to lift the dairy. Each dropoff would be a calculated ratio of potato chips to milk so that it doesn’t get too light or heavy.
          You want in on this?

        3. Hey I’m gonna let you finish but these electric trucks aren’t for delivery to stores but for package delivery. There’s a reason why they list Amazon as a contracted customer. Retail to local businesses and vanlifers is the cherry on top.

          And yeah, there’s a world of difference between a cargo/utility van and a delivery truck.

  2. Bring over the Ram 700 and Ram 1200 already.

    Rebadge the Citroen Berlingo as the new Promaster City, or just call it Dodge Berlingo :p

    Bring over the Citroen Jumpy, too. It can be called Dodge Caravan, or eve just Dodge Jumpy

    1. Ram 1200 is never happening. One, chicken tax. Two, it’s a Mitsubishi L200.
      Ram 700 is not happening. Again, chicken tax. Two, the Strada was never intended to be offered in countries with crash or emissions standards. (It’s only sold in Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico.)

      The Citroen Berlingo isn’t happening for different reasons. Namely, it’s on the EMP2 ICE platform from 2013. FCAtlantis has not been shy about sharing that they will not be investing any money into half-assed ICE platform conversions, only platforms that can be ‘natively’ BEV.
      And the Berlingo/Jumpy commits two major sins. It’s a hackjob that uses EMP2 v3 front half with an EMP2 (circa 2013) back half. And EMP2 is a completely dead platform; it’s being replaced by STLA Medium.

      1. The chicken tax shit can be resolved by using CKD kits in Mexico. I’m actually surprised none of those utes are made in Mexico.

        The modern Latin NCAP is based on the Euro NCAP from a few years ago, though they’re increasing the standards gradually until it’s the same as the Euro standards. Also, the Strada has been sold almost everywhere except North America.

        Brazil’s emissions standards are similar to Euro 6 since 2022. Also, they use ethanol more heavily than the US, lots of flex fuel and even some E100. The 700/Strada’s engines are flex-fuel. And of course, even without the above, they could always just swap in an already US-certified engine.

        All Chrysler does is half-ass 😀

        The Mercedes platform they used for the LX cars was dead before they even came out, but they still used it for another 20 years :p

        1. Ironically, they probably would. If the engines had emissions equipment. (They don’t.)
          The Ram 700’s powered by a 1.4L Firefly, owners report over 30MPG on pissgas.
          The Berlingo achieves a very respectable 36.8-45.8MPG on WLTP.

  3. Oh, don’t tease us with the extended-cab render. You know that if the new Dakota actually makes it to production this time it’s going to be another sedan.

  4. This is what is needed for the small RV market is a PHEV for use in boondock camping. Let the battery AND gas engine do both the work of getting there AND running things once camped.

  5. If the Ford Maverick has taught us anything, it’s that an EV option in the marketplace is going to basically print money to whoever brings it first.

    This sounds like a Dakota/Ranger/Colorado/Tacoma sized offering, which I think will still be successful, but come on Dodge, give us Ram 50

    1. that really depends on the price point and fuel economy. The Maverick make concessions to hit the 20K price point. It is not a plug in hybrid, it only has FWD with the hybrid versions and it only tows around 2,000 lbs. also FOrd has already had to raise the price to make the Mexico only built vehicle to actually make money. the factories in Mexico pay about 1/3 of the wage that US carmakers make.

  6. If Ram sells a BEV Promaster 1500 Cargo low roof 118″ WB in the US I’ll buy at least one of them.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: BEVs are the future of small pickups because of the stupid footprint rule. There is no footprint rule for BEVs so they can be as small as you want without incurring fines from the federal government because your 90s Ford Ranger sized pickup doesn’t get 70 MPG.

    1. CAFE and its footprint rules don’t care what the propulsion system is. The entire reason that MPGe exists is so that EVs could be factored into CAFE calculations. Of course EVs have such relatively high MPGe numbers they far exceed their CAFE target.

        1. Yes, but the way the rules were written means that pretty much any EV is going to meet its target, and that was the root of the reason for the big jump in CAFE requirements, to force mfgs to start offering EVs as the way to comply with those standards. Of course in the real world it meant many mfgs decided to drop smaller vehicles.

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