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The 2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger Is An Extended-Range EV. What Does That Mean?

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Electric vehicles are great—better than internal combustion engine vehicles in almost every single measurable way—but many potential EV buyers still fear the prospect of range anxiety. This is exacerbated when the EV in question is a truck, which you might use to haul or tow heavy loads, a situation that will cause the predicted range to plummet.

Ram thinks the answer to that problem is to shrink the battery pack, equip its electric truck with an onboard generator, and turn the truck into an extended-range electric vehicle (also referred to as an EREV). The result is the 2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger, a pickup that propels itself not only with electric motors but also relies on a V6 gasoline engine to give it a lot more range than any pure electric truck.

The manufacturer is hoping that buyers will appreciate the truck’s ability to cover over 100 miles using only the charge stored in its battery pack while not producing any tailpipe emissions in the process. When the state of charge gets low, you will either have to stop and plug it in, or the truck will start burning gasoline to produce electricity, giving you plenty of flexibility on how you want to continue.

Because the combustion engine isn’t connected to the wheels in any way, the Ramcharger isn’t a plug-in hybrid but an extended-range EV. Read on to learn how exactly they differ and why a range-extender might be the best solution for an electric truck and the only way for it to dethrone the mighty diesel as the workhorse of choice, at least until there’s a breakthrough in EV battery technology.

What Powers The 2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger?

2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger chassis

The Ram 1500 Ramcharger is motivated by a pair of electric motors, one powering each axle, for a combined output of 663 horsepower and 615 pound-feet of torque. It draws from a liquid-cooled 92 kWh battery pack that gives it a range of up to 141 miles on one charge.

That range rating isn’t very good on its own, but with a full tank (it can take almost 28 gallons of fuel), that range can be extended to 690 miles. The extra range comes courtesy of a 3.6-liter V6 that is used solely to drive a generator that makes electricity, which goes into the battery pack that then powers the two motors.

It’s quite a complicated system, but it’s also what makes the 1500 Ramcharger a range-extender EV and not another type of electrified vehicle. Ram touts this as having “unlimited battery range,” which is a bit of a stretch, but it just means you don’t have to stop to charge the vehicle when the battery runs low, and you can simply fill it up with fuel.

You can DC fast-charge the Ramcharger via a Level 3 charger at up to 145 kW, which future owners may choose to do, although they will probably choose the easy way and just fill it up with gasoline, letting the generator do the charging. Ram hasn’t announced the vehicle’s efficiency rating, but if other similar systems are anything to go by, it should be better on fuel and have lower emissions than a comparable pure ICE truck.

It’s worth noting that having the battery fully charged before setting off (even with a full tank of gas) will allow the Ramcharger to run at its most efficient, since for about the first 100 or so miles of your journey, the V6 doesn’t need to start. This is the same principle that you should apply to get the best efficiency out of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

However, unlike a PHEV, whose electric motor only delivers a fraction of the vehicle’s total power, so its combustion engine needs to start up to provide all of the available performance, in an extended range EV like the Ramcharger, you get instant full power from the electric motors at all times.

Doesn’t The Tesla Cybertruck Also Have A Range Extender?

Tesla Cybertruck Accessories

Tesla went down a different path of range extension for its Cybertruck. Instead of equipping it with an onboard generator driven by a combustion engine, which would have been completely at odds with the company’s ethos, Tesla adds an additional battery pack in the bed of the truck. The extra pack takes up a third of the bed space and adds about 40 percent more range but it also takes more time to charge given that there are more kilowatt hours to replenish.

What Other Extended-Range EVs Are There?

Mazda MX-30 E-SkyActive R-EV (2023)

One of the earliest range-extender EVs was the BMW i3 REx, which had a two-cylinder motorcycle engine in the back. It was designed to meet California Air Resource Board (CARB) regulations to be classified as an auxiliary power unit (APU) so that the vehicle was still considered an EV and not a sort of hybrid.

 

Another more recent extended-range EV is the Mazda MX-30 R-EV, which follows a similar formula to the i3. It features an 830-cc single-rotor Wankel engine, which gives the Mazda a WLTP range rating of up to 423 miles. Mind you, unlike the i3 REx, the R-EV version of the MX-30 has an even smaller battery than the standard BEV model, which nets it a maximum range on battery power alone of just 53 miles WLTP.

Range extender EVs are pretty rare among passenger vehicles, so the arrival of the Ramcharger next year is certainly a significant development for this type of vehicle. Whether it proves more popular than the fully electric Ram 1500 REV (which will debut a few months before) remains to be seen, but we’re pretty certain it will have its fans.

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