All the tech (and other flashy features) built into the Ram 1500 Revolution EV Truck • TechCrunch
Stellantis unveiled at CES 2023 its answer to an increasingly crowded battery-electric truck market: a tech-laden broad-shouldered pickup, a longer cabin with third-row booster seats, cup holders in the 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 introduced later this year). Still, it provides the clearest picture yet of Ram’s plans for its next generation of trucks and how it aims to compete with other entrants in the nascent 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 electric vehicles that integrates the battery as well as underbody aero panels and an active diffuser to improve the car’s aerodynamic properties. Two electric drive modules are mounted on the front and rear axles to provide all-wheel drive and a rear axle steering system allows the driver to turn the rear wheels up to 15 degrees.
Ram didn’t reveal some important EV specs like range and battery size; expect those later this quarter. The brand says 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 350kW. That, of course, suggests that the production version will have an 800-volt electrical architecture that allows for quick and fast charging.
The automaker has integrated many features, technologies and new design language into the Ram 1500 Revolution. Here’s what stood out.
New face, Saloon doors
There are all sorts of interesting exterior design choices in the Ram Revolution, such as a new “face” that includes more modern badging and an animated tuning fork LED headlight design.
Perhaps the most notable design feature is the lack of a B-pillar, which allows for a grand salon-style door opening. The design decision makes the spacious interior even more cavernous. The cab is actually four inches longer than Ram’s gas-powered equivalent trucks. Saloon style doors simply hammer home this idea.
3D printed side mirrors
Exterior mirrors are smaller than those found on 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 using 3D printed parts.
The concept truck is also equipped with a rear-view camera and rear-view mirror that communicates with biometric cameras that observe the truck’s surroundings.
Mobile film projector
The truck is equipped with several built-in projectors to visually communicate information to the user. But really, we care about that because the projectors double as a mobile movie theater.
The Ram Revolution concept features a fully glazed roof with electrochromic panels and integrated roof rails. From inside the cabin, occupants can use the overhead console to operate the ambient lighting.
They can also use Ram’s touch swipe technology to configure the sun visors or the entire electro-chromatic roof to adjust opacity.
Like so many vehicles today, the Ram Revolution features a personal assistant. A 3D Ram avatar acts as the vehicle’s face and will respond to users’ various voice commands, according to Ram.
An interesting feature is that the personal assistant will even follow the owner’s commands when outside the vehicle. A user can tell the vehicle to close windows, play music, take a photo, and “follow me” with Shadow Mode.
Yep, 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 navigate around obstacles, is marketed to people who might be on a job site and might want the truck to track and carry tools.
Adjustable and removable bottom display
The lower display (shown above) can be used as a tablet, passenger display, truck bed workstation, vehicle control or video game controller, according to Ram.
The two 14.2-inch screens can also be combined to provide a larger viewing area.
What to do with a spacious interior? Add third-row jump seats, of course.
Third-row booster seats, handy when you want to fit six people inside the truck cab – say what? — are folded until use. Jump seats are mounted on the middle door with a removable lower section.
The interior layout is actually flexible, allowing users to remove the center console and reconfigure the seats.
Speaking of flexibility. The flexible layout includes a passage that runs through the center console and into the frunk. I officially call this a frunk hole. This feature allows objects as long as 18 feet to fit in the truck.
Note that this hole is narrow. One could imagine metal or PVC piping here or perhaps a pair of skis.
Not sure if an item will fit? The concept also comes with a mobile app that helps users 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 will show users how the item can best be positioned in their vehicle. According to the company, internal and external cabin projectors can also be used to display guides to the target storage location.
Frunk cup holders
Unfortunately, I couldn’t peek inside the electric front trunk, or frunk. But I was told that if you look under the hood, which has one-touch open and close functionality, there are cupholders. (It’s a tailgating thing.)
Other vehicle power features include a power charging port door located on the driver’s side front quarter panel, power tailgate, recessed door handles, power side steps, and power rear step.