At CES 2023, Stellantis unveiled its answer to an increasingly crowded battery-electric truck market: a technology-packed, broad-shouldered pickup, a longer cab with folding third-row seats, cup holders in the front trunk, and even a movie projector.
The Ram 1500 Revolution BEV concept isn’t exactly what the Stellantis brand plans to put into production by 2024. (That version will be shown later this year). Still, it provides the clearest picture yet of Ram’s plans for its next generation of trucks and how it plans to compete with other entrants to the burgeoning electric truck market, including the Ford F-150 Lightning and the Chevrolet Silverado EV.
It starts with a body-on-frame architecture designed for full-size EVs that integrates the battery pack, as well as aero panels on the underside of the body and an active diffuser to improve the vehicle’s aerodynamics. Two electric drive modules are mounted on the front and rear axles to provide four-wheel drive and a rear-axle steering allows the driver to turn the rear wheels up to 15 degrees.
Ram hasn’t revealed some key EV specs like range and battery pack; expect it later this quarter. The brand did say that the Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept can add up to 100 miles of range in about 10 minutes with 800-volt DC fast charging up to 350 kW. That, of course, suggests that the production version will have an 800-volt electrical architecture that will allow rapid fast charging.
The automaker packed a lot of features, technology and new design language into the Ram 1500 Revolution. This is what stood out.
New face, saloon doors
There are all kinds of interesting exterior design choices in the Ram Revolution, such as a new “face” with more modern badging and an animated LED tuning fork headlight design.
Perhaps the design’s most notable feature is the lack of a B-pillar, allowing for a large saloon-style doorway. The design choice makes the spacious interior look even more cavernous. The cab is actually four inches longer than Ram’s equivalent gas-powered trucks. The parlor style doors just hammer home that idea.
3D printed side mirrors
The side mirrors are smaller than any other Ram truck, a design choice intended to reduce drag and increase aerodynamics. The side mirrors, which use a digital camera to capture the truck’s surroundings, are also made with 3D-printed parts.
The truck concept is also equipped with a reversing camera and a rear-view mirror that communicates with biometric cameras that observe the truck’s surroundings.
Mobile movie projector
The truck is equipped with several built-in projectors to visually convey information to the user. But really, we care about this because the projectors double as a mobile cinema.
The Ram Revolution concept features an all-glass roof with electrochromic panels and integrated roof rails. From inside the cab, occupants can use the overhead console to control the ambient lighting.
They can also use Ram’s tactile swipe technology to configure the sun visors or the entire electrochromic roof to adjust opacity.
Like so many vehicles these days, the Ram Revolution has a personal assistant. A 3D Ram avatar acts as the vehicle’s face and, according to Ram, will respond to various user voice commands.
A nice feature is that the personal assistant even follows commands from the owner while outside the vehicle. A user can tell the vehicle to close the windows, play music, take a photo, and “follow me” with shadow mode.
Yes, shadow mode, a feature that allows the vehicle to automatically follow a driver walking in front of the vehicle. This feature, which uses sensors and camera technology to avoid obstacles, is being marketed to people who may be on a job site and may want the truck to go along and carry tools.
Adjustable and removable lower display
The lower display (pictured above) can be used as a tablet, passenger display, cargo floor workstation, vehicle control or video game controller, according to Ram.
The two 14.2-inch displays can also be combined to provide a larger viewing area.
What do you do with a spacious interior? Add third row seats, of course.
The third-row folding seats, handy for when you want to fit six people in the truck cabin – say what? – are folded until needed for use. The jump seats are mounted on the center gate with a removable lower section.
The interior layout is actually flexible, allowing users to remove the center console and reconfigure the seats.
Talk about flexibility. The flexible layout includes a passageway that runs through the center console and into the frunk. I officially call this a frunk hole. This feature allows objects up to 5.5 meters long to fit into the truck.
It should be noted that this hole is narrow. You might imagine that metal or PVC pipes fit here or maybe a pair of skis.
Do you doubt whether an object fits? The concept also comes with a mobile app that allows users to measure objects to determine if they can be transported with their vehicle. Users can scan the product barcode or use a built-in augmented reality camera measurement tool. The mobile app shows users how best to position the object in their vehicle. According to the company, internal and external cabin projectors can also be used to display guides at the intended storage location.
Frank cup holders
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a peek into the electrically powered trunk or frunk. But I’m told if you look under the hood, which opens and closes at the touch of a button, there are cup holders. (It’s a tailgating thing.)
Other powered features on the vehicle include an electrically powered charging port located on the front driver’s side panel, an electrically powered tailgate, flush mounted door handles, electrically powered side steps and an electrically powered rear step.