To butcher a line from Shrek, The 2024 Ram 1500 REV is like an onion. While Ford and GM were keen to announce electric half-ton pickup trucks and some of their key specs well before expected production dates, Ram seems more interested in peeling things back layer by layer. After a Super Bowl commercial and a styling debut in February, we now have far more details on Stellantis’ electric pickup truck. It turns out that two absolutely enormous battery packs play a huge part in making this electric truck stand out from the crowd.
While we’ve already touched on the styling of the Ram 1500 REV, that was when it was fresh and the Revolution concept was still on our minds. See, designers have this thing called soak time where they take a design, keep it where they can see it, but put a pin in it. The premise is that if you familiarize yourself with a design, you’ll find that passing judgement is easier. On the face of things, the Ram 1500 REV looks handsome, if conventional. It’s certainly not Avalanche-in-a-fun-house-mirror like the Chevrolet Silverado EV, but it’s a slightly more dramatic change from its gas-powered equivalent than the Ford F-150 Lightning. The tuning fork daytime running lights look interesting and perform a neat optical illusion. The actual headlights are mounted on the fenders and the area in between the forks looks to be a dummy lamp.
Unlike its dino-burning equivalent, the Ram 1500 REV uses a flush-fit bumper cover that eliminates the gap between the frame-mounted bumper and cab. It’s a smart and modern look, and the plastic bumper cover should theoretically bounce back from minor bumps. Of course, if you hit a raccoon at 70 mph, a more typical steel bumper is the way to go, but the 1500 REV’s plastic cover should work in the majority of situations. Plus, although I’d imagine that tightening up the bumper gap doesn’t create a massive aerodynamic benefit, every bit counts when trying to make something this brick-shaped have a 0.34 Cd.
Out back, Ram has freshened up appearances with hockey stick-shaped tail lamps flowing onto the tailgate. While this may not be an idea on traditional trucks considering how common tailgate theft is, I have a feeling that the tailgate on a well-equipped Ram 1500 REV will be much harder to remove than the tailgate on a base gas truck. Yes, a power tailgate is on the options list, and that power mechanism has to go somewhere and bolt in securely.
Other than the updated fascias, some new badging, and the curiosity of eight-lug hubs, the Ram 1500 REV looks exactly the same as the combustion-powered model. I’ve always thought that Ram makes the most handsome, tasteful half-ton truck of this model cycle, so it’s reassuring to see the same familiar, confident body lines we’re all used to. Don’t get me wrong, a more dramatic truck would’ve been cool, but the target audience wants a conventional truck more than anything. After all, you don’t see too many tradies drinking the Cybertruck bong water. [Ed Note: Also, to put it explicitly, this helps Ram save money. -DT]
Exterior over, let’s talk powertrain. Slung between the frame rails of the Ram 1500 REV’s STLA Frame architecture is a truly massive 168 kWh worth of capacity. That’s 37 kWh more than the optional extended-range battery pack in a Ford F-150 Lightning, or roughly 7.63 times the capacity of David’s BMW i3 when it was new. All this to go an estimated 350 miles, huh? But wait, there’s more. Ram 1500 REV customers can opt for a gargantuan 229 kWh battery pack that Ram hopes will offer 500 miles of range. Remember when Indiana Jones whipped out his gun in a swordfight and just blasted a golf ball-sized hole in that dude? That’s basically what Ram’s trying to pull here.
Even though Ram claims that the 1500 REV’s 800-volt architecture can charge at up to 350 kW, it’s going to take a long time (relative to the gas truck) to juice up a 229 kWh battery pack. If 500 miles still isn’t enough for you, Ram claims to be working on an XR model, although it’s playing coy on what those letters mean. Don’t be surprised if they stand for “extended range.” I wonder if that model might feature a range-extending combustion-powered generator; sometimes excess is never enough.
Power, Payload, Towing
Speaking of excess, let’s talk power. Dual 250 kW electric motors with a combined output of 654 horsepower should slingshot the Ram 1500 REV to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. For those of you keeping track at home, that’s an eyelash quicker than an original Viper in something the same size and weight as Abe Lincoln’s stiff, white monument. Oh, and it blows the Ram SRT-10’s zero-to-60 time out of the water, although I wouldn’t be surprised if the old V10 beast holds onto its top speed title.
So, lots of power, lots of torque, and lots of battery capacity. That’s interesting on paper, but how does it help the Ram 1500 REV do actual truck work? Well, Ram expects maximum payload clock in at 2,700 pounds and a maximum towing capacity of 14,000 pounds. That’s an extra 465 pounds and 4,000 pounds over the respective maximum capacities of the Ford F-150 Lightning, or 400 and 1,250 pounds over the respective maximum capacities of a properly-equipped ICE-powered Ram 1500. It’s a weird world when a brand’s most capable half-ton truck is electric, but that’s 2023 for you.
As for off-road cred, the Ram 1500 REV has all-terrain tires on the options list and its rear drive motor is available with a proper locking differential. This is exactly the sort of stuff you’d expect from any half-ton truck. Less expected is a claimed 24 inches of water fording depth, partly thanks to standard air suspension, but mostly due to the new powertrain. That’s not exactly flood-rated, but it should be fine for small washouts and the like [Editor’s Note: The current Ram’s rather low limit for water fording is mentioned in the owner’s manual: “Always check the depth of the standing water before driving through it. Never drive through standing water that is deeper than the bottom of the tire rims mounted on the vehicle.” -DT]. Unsurprisingly, there’s no low range offered here, but the instant low-end torque of electric motors should be an acceptable alternative for most places anyone sensible would take a vehicle this enormous.
While certain trims of the regular Ram 1500 are available with a hood bulge, the REV gets a cargo bulge for all your junk in the frunk. It’s power-operated because anyone who isn’t an NBA player couldn’t possibly be expected to reach it when open, and it covers a whopping 15 cu.-ft. of space. Throw your tools in there, charge them up with 3.6 kW of available frunk power, and keep them safe from prying eyes. Oh, and if that’s not enough juice for you, Ram claims that a power panel in the bed can supply up to 7.2 kW if you want to set up a rotating stack of shawarma meat at your next tailgate party. Speaking of, if you’re setting up a rotating stack of shawarma meat at your next party, let me know; I’ll be there.
From work trucks to luxury cars in disguise, half-ton trucks offer a wide array of trim levels and the Ram 1500 REV is no exception. It can be ordered in five trims: Tradesman, Big Horn or Lone Star depending on whether or not you live in Texas, Laramie, Limited, and a new one right at the tippy top called Tungsten. Why Tungsten? I don’t know, maybe because tungsten carbide makes for some hard-ass drill bits.
So what makes the Tungsten trim so fancy? Well, aside from a bunch of tech, it gets a two-tone blue and white interior that should never see a job site, a suede headliner, diamond knurling, silver trim officially described with more adjectives than a game of Mad Libs, metal pedals, a special shift knob, and a console-mounted VIN plate so you can pretend that your cowboy Cadillac is any different from the tens of thousands just like it. It sounds terrible for truck stuff but awesome as an alternative to a Mercedes-Benz EQS in case you want an electric luxury machine, have a lot of money to blow, and make some of the most scrambled playlists Spotify has ever seen.
Even if you don’t pop for the extra-fancy trim, you can still get an absolutely bewildering array of in-cabin technology. A digital gauge cluster and a huge infotainment screen are par for the course in today’s EVs, but the Ram 1500 REV offers something extra: A front passenger display that’s a bit like what’s optional on many Ferrari models. Although this 10.25-inch screen can show navigation route guidance, exterior camera views, and energy stats, it’s not for monitoring how many gs you’re pulling. Instead, its primary focus is on entertainment, especially since it features an HDMI input. Plug in a gaming console, connect to the truck’s Wi-Fi hot spot, and the front passenger can play Warzone on road trips.
Of course, visual entertainment needs to come paired with auditory pleasure, so Klipsch has lent its name to the top-of-the-line sound system featuring 23 speakers, which I’d love to play some testing tracks through, particularly as Klipsch isn’t owned by Harman International. It would be especially interesting if this were a Voxx International system, a break from the uninspiring sameness of Harman’s soulless Clari-Fi codec.
As far as EV-focused in-cabin tech, the infotainment system gains a whole host of what Ram is calling “EV pages,” with some of them sounding very useful indeed. Anyone who’s used public DC fast charging networks knows that they’re absolutely terrible, a mess of NFC cards, pre-loaded accounts, and general reprehensible fuckery. It would be great if every station had working credit card readers but until that happens, plug-and-charge capability is the best we’re going to get. Thankfully, the Ram 1500 REV supports it.
In addition to plug-and-charge capability, another desirable feature for EV owners is to limit charging rate and maximum charge. High-kilowatt fast charging can really take a toll on a vehicle’s battery pack over time. Plus, it’s generally considered healthy to keep a battery buffer in day-to-day operation. By placing restrictions on charging, the idea is that owners can reduce battery degradation.
Of course, EV tech wouldn’t be complete without a few nags, and the Ram 1500 REV has a bunch of them. It’ll suggest when it’s best to charge and what habits can increase range, but sometimes those tips just aren’t worth it. On the other hand, it’s kind of neat to see historical power flow almost like your iPhone’s battery page.
More Like An F-150 Lightning, Less Like A Rivian R1T
Overall, the Ram 1500 REV doesn’t break the mold, but that’s a good thing. It probably won’t scare off existing Ram customers, and being late to the electric truck party has given Stellantis the chance to offer more of what the people want. In this case, more range than any other electric truck out there and more toys than a branch of Gamestop combine to make a very compelling on-paper argument. Of course, we need to try the Ram 1500 REV out for ourselves to pass a final verdict since trucks aren’t driven on paper, but all signs so far point to it being a hot contender.
(Photo credits: Ram)
Support our mission of championing car culture by becoming an Official Autopian Member.
The Ram 1500 REV: Ram’s Electric Pickup Is Here
Engineering Expert Sandy Munro Takes A First Look At The Ram Revolution’s ‘STLA Frame’ Platform. Here’s What He Thinks
The 2022 Ford Lightning Is Just A Standard F-150 With An Electric Powertrain And That’s Why It’s Going To Change The World
Here’s What Our Professional Car Designer Thinks Of The Ram 1500 Revolution
The Ram 1500 Revolution Is A Three-Row EV Wondertruck For The Future
Got a hot tip? Send it to us here. Or check out the stories on our homepage.
It’s good looking. It just needs some fake exhaust tips and a couple of HEMI badges.
> how common tailgate theft is
Wait, that’s a thing? People rip tailgates off parked trucks?
> if you hit a raccoon at 70 mph
Where do you live where raccoons run that fast?
Yes, tailgate theft is a thing. Because it’s ridiculously simple to remove a tailgate from a truck.
But why, you ask? Because someone had theirs down and backed into something. So you look for a truck your same color and source a new one.
I remember hearing about a gang raided the Detroit-Hamtramck Plant (now GM Factory Zero) employee parking lots and stole almost every tailgate from the employees’ trucks years ago. This was when the prices of scrap metal spiked and the majority of truck tailgates were not lockable. Now the parking lots have controlled entrances to reduce the crimes on employee vehicles.
I’d propose a hefty use tax fee be applied to vehicles with greater than 125-150kWh capacity battery packs… Graduated scale; as battery size increases above the 125-150 mark, each ADDITIONAL 2kWh increment adds a graduated percentage tax increase.
No max tax cap.
I don’t want to live in a world where vehicles like this exist.