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Old 11-08-2023, 04:23 AM   #1275
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Audi use similar tech in their Dakar cars: https://www.topgear.com/car-news/aud...dakar-car-work.
Slightly more powerful though, its a DTM motor linked to 2x Formula-E engines

They won 4 stages first time out and got 14 of 15 podiums last year, some stages go for 500+ miles. If it works for Dakar its probably going to be OK for nipping down the shops
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Old 11-08-2023, 08:11 AM   #1276
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That is correct. The engine is connected to a generator that supplies the 175-225 or whatever hp to the electric motors that drive the wheels in addition to any power that comes from the battery. (I think, lol...)

"Those 145 miles of battery range will likely drop to less than half that when towing, but the generator keeps the rig rolling after that. The generator in question is rated at 174 horsepower of continuous output. That doesn't sound like any way to keep up while towing 14,000 pounds, but a Ram powertrain engineer we spoke to says this is plenty. On generator power, you can cruise a flat interstate at 65 mph with a max load trailer until the fuel tank needs to be refilled. Tow something like 7000 pounds, and it only gets better.

The ups and downs of rolling terrain are covered by dipping into the unused portion of the battery on the upslope, then shuffling some power back into the battery when easing off and regenerating on the downslope. If the load gets more intense, the system can run the generator up to its peak output of 255 horsepower. But there's always battery power standing behind that, so the occasional short bursts that need more power than that should always be possible.

eaded for the mountains? Select Tow mode, and the charge-sustaining set-aside percentage is increased to 35 percent, up from the normal 16 percent. The V-6 engine and generator set will come online earlier, and the generator will run closer to peak output more of the time. Between that and the enlarged Tow mode battery reserve, Ram says the Ramcharger should be more than able to tackle the kind of long, steep grades found in the mountain West.

That checks out, because we've towed up long western grades with EVs, and the upslopes don't last nearly as long as you imagine. Electricity use certainly spikes up, but we're not talking dozens of miles at a time with no letup. There are always ups and downs, and there's always more left at the summit than we expected. Here an engine and generator have your back, and you'll gain a lot back on the way down the other side."

So, it does partially charge the battery as well, but not exclusively. Enough to supply some extra power if needed from the battery for a short burst.
I'd say the battery is 65 % too big/expensive. And if the engine was a diesel, it could be a help for those owners, if doesn't use DEF because it doesn't ever run lean.

The motors' hp can be any hp level the pack can supply + cruise. The engine only needs power for a flat cruise.

If Voltec had been this scaled to performance Cadillac Model S/X killers, they could have basically ran Energizer bunny ads versus any BEV. And tried to pop the BEV bubble early instead of letting it blow.
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Old 11-08-2023, 08:54 AM   #1277
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The engine is only there to provide power to the battery.

Why they chose to use the 3.6 V6 I don't know, but there had to be a reason. Perhaps it's cheaper than using one of their fancier turbo 4 engines and I'm not sure they have any diesel engine that is small/cheap enough for this application either...and perhaps using some NA 4 cylinder engine doesn't provide enough "juice" to keep the batteries powered?

Assuming this works as advertised and doesn't turn out to be a nightmare of bugs and issues upon release, then I still think this makes more sense than a full on EV truck. Somebody out there tell me why being able to drive on electric only the vast majority of time (to work, short trips) and then being able to use gas when needed is a worse idea than full on EV?

If GM had continued on with the Voltec platform or some evolutionary version of it and applied it to more vehicles, there's a damn good chance I'd own one right now for my wife's daily. I think there's a LOT more people out there like me and we'd all be running around producing near zero emissions. Instead, we're getting full EV shoved in our faces, and I'm saying "nope".
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Old 11-08-2023, 12:21 PM   #1278
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It would also be less efficient and would also not be taking advantage of the real characteristics of the engine. You’d be converting combustible energy and kinetic to electric energy (at some minimal efficiency loss) then converting the electric energy to kinetic energy (at some minimal loss of efficiency). On one hand, the ICE has minimal emissions, since it will be pretty much operating at constant, possibly minimal load. On the other hand, peak power and pearl torque will likely never be achieved. Output would be limited to what the battery can accept and/or what is needed to power the electric motor. I’m curious why Stellantis isn’t using a less powerful, less expensive engine for the job.

The Chevrolet Volt operated under the same principle. It was almost always driven by the electric motor. Even when the engine (one of the cheapest, lowest powered engines in the GM portfolio at the time) was running, it pretty much droned at mid-range rpm and charged the battery. The engine wasn’t powerful or efficient because it didn’t need to be.

This may be the only way to get pickup truck owners that do tow in the half ton class to stay half ton and not jump up to a 2500. I actually am down for this. Time is all we have in life and in the towing world going out exploring or just traveling in general with family filling up on Gas is significantly quicker than charging. I predict 2500 sales increasing still though from 150/1500 buyers where that class handled their long distance adventures to 2500 to maintain that range confidence but this idea will definitely keep some of those customers in the half ton segment.
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Old 11-08-2023, 04:13 PM   #1279
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I've been following Walter from his site TNAC and this is his updates to new and upcoming US charging sites that GM and Pilot/Flying J are deploying coast to coast. He's (wife) also a Cadillac Lyriq owner.

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Old 11-08-2023, 04:17 PM   #1280
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This one might be more on topic to the current discussion.

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Old 11-08-2023, 07:18 PM   #1281
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Originally Posted by KMPrenger View Post
The engine is only there to provide power to the battery.

Why they chose to use the 3.6 V6 I don't know, but there had to be a reason. Perhaps it's cheaper than using one of their fancier turbo 4 engines and I'm not sure they have any diesel engine that is small/cheap enough for this application either...and perhaps using some NA 4 cylinder engine doesn't provide enough "juice" to keep the batteries powered?

Assuming this works as advertised and doesn't turn out to be a nightmare of bugs and issues upon release, then I still think this makes more sense than a full on EV truck. Somebody out there tell me why being able to drive on electric only the vast majority of time (to work, short trips) and then being able to use gas when needed is a worse idea than full on EV?

If GM had continued on with the Voltec platform or some evolutionary version of it and applied it to more vehicles, there's a damn good chance I'd own one right now for my wife's daily. I think there's a LOT more people out there like me and we'd all be running around producing near zero emissions. Instead, we're getting full EV shoved in our faces, and I'm saying "nope".
I goofed big time in my last few responses. I’ve CLEARLY been away from powertrain forecasting long enough to have forgotten the simple stuff. When I read “6-cylinder” I ASSUMED we were talking about the new L6, arguably the most expensive engine in the Stellantis portfolio that isn’t stuffed under an Alfa Romeo hood. It’s actually the 3.6L PentaStar V6 which is arguably one of the LEAST expensive engines in the Stellantis US portfolio. That makes perfect sense, since all they really need for it to do is spin. The ICE in this setup does not contribute to the motion of the axles and it does not contribute to the towing capacity. That is all done with the electric motors. It’s a generator, nothing more, nothing less.
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Old 11-08-2023, 11:48 PM   #1282
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I goofed big time in my last few responses. I’ve CLEARLY been away from powertrain forecasting long enough to have forgotten the simple stuff. When I read “6-cylinder” I ASSUMED we were talking about the new L6, arguably the most expensive engine in the Stellantis portfolio that isn’t stuffed under an Alfa Romeo hood. It’s actually the 3.6L PentaStar V6 which is arguably one of the LEAST expensive engines in the Stellantis US portfolio. That makes perfect sense, since all they really need for it to do is spin. The ICE in this setup does not contribute to the motion of the axles and it does not contribute to the towing capacity. That is all done with the electric motors. It’s a generator, nothing more, nothing less.
The Ramcharger will be expensive enough for people to expect easy power. The PentaStar will work hard at 174 hp and scream at 255 hp. The one RLHMARINES posted video talked about 'quality of life'; it's a jack of most trades attempt at that. Long empty trip mpg would be the weakness with any engine.

'Budget improvement' was another topic of the adoption curve video. Payback time is usually long. It will be interesting to see if the Ramcharger tows with good mpg. Reliability will be a big factor, now that regulations have hurt the fuel burners.
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Old 11-09-2023, 08:23 AM   #1283
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Yeah, I get it that the electric motors turn the wheels and provides the hp. The gas engine powers a generator. OK fine.

I can't seem to grasp, though, that the generator only charges the battery. I thought the electricity generated went straight to the electric motors and some (16-35%) of what was generated was sent to the battery as a back-up/reserve.

Whatever....The whole set-up makes a mockery of this whole EV transition. Batteries and EVs can't hack it without fossil fuels somewhere in the background, either as a generator in each vehicle, or powering an EV charging station. Instead of a gasoline engine to generate electricity, why doesn't the truck deploy an array of solar panels instead?...lol

Are gas powered generators in the trunk or roof the next option to extend EV range, or a primary charging option for those without access to home or apartment chargers?...lol
I guess those pics of a Tesla towing a generator, and plug in stations with a generator right behind them were a precursor to the design of this Ram truck...lol

I like my current vehicles with a gas powered hp generator: a V-8 engine that drives the axles. (No battery or electric motors required).

Last edited by 90503; 11-09-2023 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 11-09-2023, 11:18 AM   #1284
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...

Whatever....The whole set-up makes a mockery of this whole EV transition. Batteries and EVs can't hack it without fossil fuels somewhere in the background, either as a generator in each vehicle, or powering an EV charging station. Instead of a gasoline engine to generate electricity, why doesn't the truck deploy an array of solar panels instead?...lol

...
You are correct...they can't. Other than being used as short commuter vehicles, full EVs (in their current technological state) have multiple issues.

But again...if the GOAL is to reduce the amount of emissions as fast as possible without disrupting the way we currently travel and requiring huge changes to our electrical infrastructure, hybrids like this are the best answer we have. Just think if GM had kept on with the Voltec system and applied it to all of their vehicles over the years and then made a few full EVs as well (for those people where it sorta makes sense). Imagine if other manufactures followed suit. A huge portion of people with a vehicle under 5 to 10 years old wouldn't be producing any emissions on their normal daily commutes.

Sure, complexity, weight, cost are still issues, but those are minor compared to the huge issues facing world of full EV only vehicles.

Based on my very un-scientific review of reactions to the RamCharger, compared to other full EV trucks out there, the reception is MUCH more positive overall.
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Old 11-09-2023, 12:22 PM   #1285
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You are correct...they can't. Other than being used as short commuter vehicles, full EVs (in their current technological state) have multiple issues.

But again...if the GOAL is to reduce the amount of emissions as fast as possible without disrupting the way we currently travel and requiring huge changes to our electrical infrastructure, hybrids like this are the best answer we have. Just think if GM had kept on with the Voltec system and applied it to all of their vehicles over the years and then made a few full EVs as well (for those people where it sorta makes sense). Imagine if other manufactures followed suit. A huge portion of people with a vehicle under 5 to 10 years old wouldn't be producing any emissions on their normal daily commutes.

Sure, complexity, weight, cost are still issues, but those are minor compared to the huge issues facing world of full EV only vehicles.

Based on my very un-scientific review of reactions to the RamCharger, compared to other full EV trucks out there, the reception is MUCH more positive overall.
Only some people have reducing emissions as a goal while equating it to quality of life. Those people get Teslas or are waiting for a good Toyota. Many others see smoke from their backyard brush fire, and want meddling hands off of vehicles. I.E. are not carbon zealots.

Based on the above, if ...if ...if Ford makes an enhanced Powerboost with a reservoir battery, that keeps an engine in the happiest efficiency range while towing. And it's still otherwise a conventional hybrid, it wins on selling price. That leaves the Ramcharger's best selling point as high hp that doesn't beat up your wallet commuting.
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Old 11-09-2023, 12:23 PM   #1286
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You are correct...they can't. Other than being used as short commuter vehicles, full EVs (in their current technological state) have multiple issues.

But again...if the GOAL is to reduce the amount of emissions as fast as possible without disrupting the way we currently travel and requiring huge changes to our electrical infrastructure, hybrids like this are the best answer we have. Just think if GM had kept on with the Voltec system and applied it to all of their vehicles over the years and then made a few full EVs as well (for those people where it sorta makes sense). Imagine if other manufactures followed suit. A huge portion of people with a vehicle under 5 to 10 years old wouldn't be producing any emissions on their normal daily commutes.

Sure, complexity, weight, cost are still issues, but those are minor compared to the huge issues facing world of full EV only vehicles.

Based on my very un-scientific review of reactions to the RamCharger, compared to other full EV trucks out there, the reception is MUCH more positive overall.

All good points, but reducing emissions just by shuffling it around isn't any real answer either. Also, avoiding disruptions to the way we currently travel is the least of their priorities. Emissions ending (and fossil fuels), yes, that's a result of the actual goal which is a total disruption and end to how we currently travel....but that's another topic that usually doesn't end well...lol

The practical use of EVs for short commutes has been totally botched. Instead of a lower cost economy vehicle priced accordingly, we have mostly seen hi-end unaffordable monstrosities. If a short range commuter EV, priced very, very inexpensively, (I mean less than 10K), they would sell like hot cakes (IMO), and solve the emissions problem caused by short commutes. If they had built something like that, I would buy one. But trying to make a one size fits all EV and a triple-complex-towing truck for a short commute is silly and unnecessary. I think the only reason this RAM may be recieving good reviews is that the end of the average ICE truck being able to tow and haul when needed is coming to an end or will be shortly.

I always bought my trucks knowing I may or may not use them to their full capacity most of the time. But at least that option was there when needed. It is what trucks were expected to do. Now, EVs have the mind-set that you know, you really don't need to do this or that. No better price, just more cost to do what had been previously taken for granted with a truck.

Starting to just ramble, so that's it for now...lol
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Old 11-09-2023, 12:56 PM   #1287
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Full size trucks have become luxury vehicles. I wish the mid-size was a purist solid axle truck. Then they could beef one up to be a cheap 3/4 ton mid-size with 8' bed and V8.
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Old 11-09-2023, 03:07 PM   #1288
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This discussion is quickly drifting toward "I'm gonna hate anything with an electric motor and no matter what they do I'm gonna say it should have been something else"

Unless you're that guy, there is nothing not to like about this truck. A person could theoretically buy one and never use the ICE at all. Ever. And they'd have a truck with huge power that they weren't having to constantly fill with fuel. I'd sign up for that

Or, if they had to travel, they could get in and drive across the country with no range worries whatsoever. While pulling pretty much anything normal people pull. I call that a win.

I am as much of a "don't shove EV's down my throat" person as anybody, but this isn't that. This is the perfect solution to the current situation where you must choose between thrifty and underpowered or powerful and thirsty.

And if a person doesn't want one, ICE trucks are going to be around for a LONG time so nobody is being forced to get one. So, again, what's not to like?
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