Ram hasn't announced plans to launch an electric pickup yet, but it confirmed it's keeping a close eye on the burgeoning segment in case it needs to jump in. At least half a dozen electric pickups are scheduled to enter production during the first half of the 2020s, including models from Ram's rivals and from start-ups.
"The reason we haven't spoken much about electric pickup trucks is not because we view that market as non-existent. We've always had a slightly different view of timing and adoption rates, particularly in North America in terms of full electrification. We are very committed to our electrification strategy — most of which we have revealed," Mike Manley, the head of Ram parent Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), told The Detroit News.
There is not a single electric truck available new in the United States in 2020, but the segment is expected to balloon in the coming years. Tesla and start-up Rivian both introduced close-to-production concepts that remain over a year away from entering production. Ford will make an electric derivative of the 14th-generation F-150, while General Motors will send both Chevrolet and GMC marching into the segment; the latter will resurrect the Hummer name. On paper, it looks like Ram is behind. In reality, it's still too early to tell if the demand is there.
What remains to be seen is whether carmakers can turn social-media likes and eye-catching headlines into profitable sales, or if the electric pickup will become the proverbial brown, turbodiesel, and stick-shifted station wagon of the 2020s — a vehicle everyone loves the idea of but that no one wants to spend a dime on. Pickups have ruled America's sales chart for decades, but electric cars remain a small niche at best; they represented a 1.6% share of the market in 2019. Ram is essentially waiting to find out if installing one of America's least popular propulsion technologies in the nation's favorite body style by a long shot will resonate with buyers.
"We haven't revealed everything. But, obviously pickup trucks are a key franchise for us, and we're not going to sit on the sidelines if there is a danger that our position gets diluted going forward," Manley stressed.