SCIENCE + TECHNOLOGY

Ram unveils electric pickup truck concept with three rows of seats

Jan 6, 2023, 5:00 AM
Ram 1500 Revolution Battery-electric Vehicle (BEV) Concept side profile. (Stellantis via CNN)...
Ram 1500 Revolution Battery-electric Vehicle (BEV) Concept side profile. (Stellantis via CNN)
(Stellantis via CNN)
Originally Published: 05 JAN 23 17:30 ET

(CNN) — Stellantis’s Ram truck brand is behind its competitors on launching an electric pickup, with trucks from major rivals already on the market or coming soon.

But Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares has said the company is using its time to come up with features and capabilities competitors won’t have. That may include an extra row of removable fold-away seats.

The Ram 1500 Revolution concept truck, unveiled Thursday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, provides an early look at several features Ram’s future electric truck could have, including a rear passenger cabin wall that folds away, leaving the truck cab fully open into the cargo bed. That is not a new idea, as General Motors’ Chevrolet and GMC electric trucks hitting the market later this year and early next will offer a folding back cab wall; the Chevrolet Avalanche gas-powered truck also offered it over a decade ago.

What the Revolution concept also has, though, are “third row jump seats” that fold out from that back wall while the second row of seats can slide forward to make room. Having three rows of seats is possible because, without the need for a gas engine, the Revolution’s cab is extra-long. The seats can also be removed, said Ralph Gilles, Stellantis’s head of design, allowing them to be used outside the truck or in the cargo bed for tailgating.

Ram 1500 Revolution Battery-electric Vehicle (BEV) Concept interior

Space under the hood is available for storage and there’s a pass-through hole that can be opened through the cab and into the “frunk,” or front trunk. Thanks to that pass-through and the fold-down cab wall, a pole or board as long as 18 feet can be loaded into the truck.

Stellantis promises that the production version of the truck, due out in 2024, will lead the market in terms of range, towing capability, payload capacity and charging speed. While not making any specific claims for this concept truck in terms of driving range or performance, Stellantis did say the truck would be capable of charging 100 miles of range in 10 minutes. That’s fairly standard for vehicles that can work with fast chargers, but real-world charging times vary greatly depending on factors like outside temperature and the capabilities of the charger.

Since it’s a concept vehicle, it’s likely that not all the features displayed on this truck will be included in the production version. The concept truck has doors that open outward from the center with no pillar in the middle. While that’s a common design feature on concept vehicles — it makes the interior easier to see — it’s almost never used in production vehicles that need the structural strength provided by that pillar.

The Ram 1500 Revolution concept has two electric motors, one powering the back wheels and one for the front, giving it all-wheel-drive. It’s the most common way of providing all-wheel-drive in electric vehicles but some trucks, like the Rivian R1T, use four motors, one powering each wheel. The Ram Revolution is engineered with room for bigger, more powerful motors for high performance versions of the truck, according to Stellantis.

Some automakers already have electric trucks on the market, such as the Rivian R1T and Ford F-150 Lightning; others like General Motors have revealed production-ready trucks due to come to market by early 2024. Even Tesla is expected to finally start production of its Cybertruck by the end of 2023 following years of delays.

The electric Ram truck won’t go on sale until some time in 2024. Stellantis promised that the production version of the Ram electric truck would be unveiled “in the coming months.”

Once just a model of pickup truck produced under the Dodge brand, Ram was spun off as a separate brand in 2009. The truck line can trace its roots back to Graham Brothers Trucks, a company that began making trucks with Dodge engines and transmissions in 1921 and was later purchased by Dodge.

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Ram unveils electric pickup truck concept with three rows of seats