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Next year, Ram Electric Pickup is joining the Crowded Field

Next year, Ram Electric Pickup is joining the Crowded Field

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A futuristic-looking electric Ram pickup vehicle likely won’t be the first in line when it launches next year.

The Ford F-150 Lightning, Rivian R1T, Lordstown Motors Endurance and GMC Hummer EV Pickup are the four existing models. Three more are expected to make their debuts this year or next: the Tesla Cybertruck, the GMC Sierra EV, and the Chevrolet Silverado EV.

By that time, there are likely to be at least seven EV competitors on the market, competing for a slice of the massive full-size truck market, which currently includes the top three gasoline- and diesel-powered cars in the United States.

However, executives at Ram, Stellantis’ truck and commercial vehicle brand, claim they don’t mind being overshadowed rather than ahead of their competitors.

At the CES technology conference in Las Vegas on Thursday afternoon, businessmen presented a concept model of the Ram 1500 Revolution battery-powered truck. The truck featured on stage, which resembles a cross between Tesla’s boxy Cybertruck and a standard gas pickup, probably won’t be as avant-garde as the final product. However, Koval claimed that the Ram EV will outperform its competitors in the categories buyers value most: payload, towing capacity, range and technology.

Mike Koval Jr., CEO of the Ram brand, stated in an interview that “it’s actually an advantage for us”. We are fully aware of the announcements made by the other guys, so all we can say is “because”.

According to GM, the Silverado EV will be able to travel 640 kilometers (nearly 400 miles) on a single charge. Depending on the battery size, the ranges of the competition range from 230 to 400 miles. The production Ram, according to Koval, “will surpass everything that our competitors have announced.”

He pointed out that the electric vehicle market will be more attractive next year as additional infrastructure, including charging stations, will be in place.

According to Jessica Caldwell, executive director of analytics at Edmunds.com, the Ram will not be late to market because the electric trucks currently available cannot fully meet ever-increasing consumer demand. More than 170,000 customers have paid $100 in refundable deposits for the Sierra, according to GM. Although the Lightning trucks only went on sale in May last year, Ford still sold over 15,000 of them. After receiving deposits of $100 from over 200,000 potential customers, the company closed the bookings.

More than 2.1 million full-size pickup trucks, most of which still use gasoline, were purchased by Americans last year. Over 15% of all new vehicle sales in the United States have been large pickups, making it a sizeable and profitable market. Electric vehicle sales are growing rapidly; 807,000 of them were sold in the United States in 2018 — a 65% increase from 2021. According to Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Cox Automotive, the prices of relatively expensive EV trucks need to fall below their gasoline-powered counterparts to deter consumers.

The initial price point for Ford’s electric truck should be around $40,000. However, due to increased demand and rising raw material costs, the starting price is currently just under 56,000 US dollars. The base gas-powered F-150 starts at just under $34,000, which is a significant premium over that. The rising cost of building electric vehicles is at the root of the pricing problem, according to Krebs. The cost of lithium and other (battery) minerals is significant.

Automakers say prices should fall as costs are spread across more vehicles and advances in battery chemistry minimize, or perhaps eliminate, the need for minerals currently required for energy storage. Even with “crazy” raw material costs, Koval says the electric Ram has to appeal to both buyers who want working versions of the base model and those who want pricier luxury and technology.

Looking at this crucial price point, he said, “We will try to offer something for everyone.” The vehicle will also feature a spacious cabin, accessed through “sedan-style” doors, with an interior that can be configured in a variety of ways and a 350-kilowatt fast charge that can add up to 100 miles of range in about 10 minutes.

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