When do we get the Ram PHEV?
You can get a light-hybrid Ram 1500 with the V6 or V8 gasoline engines, but, so far, we haven’t seen it with the promised plug-in system.
One would think a plug-in hybrid system would be easy for Ram; the Pacifica minivan has been out for a while now, using the same engine, albeit with a different transmission. There are some issues, though. First, the long-rumored Pacifica AWD setup never materialized, and that might be considered mandatory for the Ram 1500—at launch. Second, the Ram is a rear wheel drive vehicle, using an eight-speed transmission which is very different from the Pacifica’s nine-speed transaxle. Third, the Ram 1500 weighs about as much as the Pacifica, unloaded, but it weighs far more when loaded up to capacity.
The bottom left button means “No Anarchists.”
There are also packaging issues to be considered. Ram may not have even started working on the packaging for the plug-in hybrid until after they finished creating the standard packages, which would hold things up especially if problems came out in testing. There are an awful lot of batteries in a PHEV vehicle. They also put more stress on other parts of the truck, especially if they want to maintain the same payload as the V6 (or if they want to hit V8 payloads).
It is interesting that we have nary a hint of the plug-in Ram 1500, though. Nobody seems to have spotted one being tested, though that would be easy for Ram to arrange by just leaving the camouflage off. There have been no rumors lately, no hints, no mistakes like putting it into the pricing system.
Will we see a Ram 1500 PHEV at all, or have buyers’ tepid reactions to the light-hybrid pickups put the kibosh on the whole deal? Only time will tell.
Clark Westfield grew up fixing up and driving past-their-prime American cars, including various GM and Mopar V8s. He has ghostwritten auto news for the last few years, lives in Farmingdale, New York, and can be reached at +1.516-531-4021.