Back in July, FCA CEO Mike Manley made his feelings on the electric pickup truck segment. At that time the executive noted that Ram didn’t have any plans to offer an electric truck, as they felt that the interest in the segment was nonexistent. However, things have heated up in the last few months as the GMC Hummer EV and the Electric Ford F-150 have started to make waves, along with upcoming offerings from the likes of Tesla, Rivian, and Lordstown Motors. FCA has changed course however, as Manley announced today that there will indeed be an “electrified” Ram pickup truck.
The news comes from the company’s third-quarter earnings call earlier today. While Manley offered no specific details about such a project, he certainly noted that the company is working on one.
“I do see that there will be an electrified Ram pickup in the marketplace, and I would ask you just to stay tuned for a little while, and we’ll tell you exactly when that will be,” said Manley in response to a question asked by Jeffries analyst Philippe Houchois.
While it is true that Manley never officially stated that such a Ram pickup truck was out of the question in July, it was clear that FCA wasn’t feeling the same pressure as their peers. That said, perhaps the hype surrounding the GMC Hummer EV this past week has made the team at Ram question their initial stance. Or perhaps a Ram EV was always something that was working in the background.
That said, there’s a difference between “electric” and “electrified.” And the word Manley chose to use is the latter. The connotations here include anything from the current eTorque mild hybrid system currently available in the 2021 Ram 1500, to a potential Ram 1500 PHEV, to a full EV. Where as “electric” is understood as a purely electric vehicle, like the Hummer EV. To get a better understanding of the context from which Manley is speaking from, we’ve transcribed the question from analyst Houchois to the best of our ability:
I’m wondering if you have more to share about how you see an electrified version of Ram. Now since we last spoke we’ve had the presentation of the Hummer (EV), as well as the Lordstown (Endurance). Are you ready to share more about how you see a Ram electric?
Indeed, it doesn’t help that the question used both the words “electric” and “electrified,” so we’ll maintain a neutral ground here until we can verify this Ram pickup truck project with more information.
Regardless of if/when the Ram EV project actually started, this confirms that all three of Detroit’s automakers are currently working on electrified pickup trucks. The reversal from FCA does raise the question as to whether or not more people are getting excited for these trucks. Based on J.D. Power’s most recent Q3 Mobility Confidence Index, this isn’t actually the case.
It was only a matter of time before FCA’s truck brand made an announcement like this, but we didn’t expect them to make a move this quickly. This is especially true when you consider that Senior Brand Manager Carl Lally told MC&T that the TRX made far more business sense than an electric model, based on customer demand alone. Either way, an “electrified” Ram pickup is on the horizon.