RAM is usually not the car that is under the focus of eco-friendly news, but they are joining the game of hybridization and electrification. The new 2019 RAM lineup will have a place for “hybrid” version of its 1500 pickup truck – RAM 1500 eTorque.
Let’s clear out some misconceptions. It is not a hybrid in the classical meaning of the word. RAM 1500 ETorque technology does not add increase the truck’s power or capability but feeds in some electric torque at low RPM. This helps to achieve better fuel efficiency and reduce the carbon emission, by spinning up the engine during start/stop operation, smoothing gearchanges, and harvesting some energy from braking.
RAM itself calls this technology a “mild-hybrid system”. Because of the small battery pack and single electric motor, the RAM 1500 eTorque cannot be driven on electric power alone. The system is very similar to the original GM Parallel Hybrid Truck system than the later two-motor, two-mode hybrid system circa 2009.
RAM will offer two version of its RAM 1500 eTorque truck: 3.6-liter 24-valve V6 and 5.7-liter Hemi V8. Later, is not equipped with the system from the start, and you will have to pay $1,450 more for the option.
The technology replaces the alternator with a small, 10-hp electric motor that’s belt-driven off the engine’s crankshaft. Another part is the Power Pack Unit. It’s basically a tiny 48-volt lithium-ion Nickel Manganese Cobalt -Graphite battery pack with a 3-kilowatt DC-to-DC converter to maintain the battery’s charge and convert 48 volts to 12 volts to power the truck’s accessories for up to 10 minutes.
The main goal of this technology is to increase the fuel economy of the vehicle. RAM stated that the eTorque increase the efficiency by 2 mpg in the V8 case, and with V6 we can expect something similar (the EPA ratings aren’t finalized yet on the V6.
eTorque contributes to these efficiency improvements in combination with other systems new to the 2019 Ram, including grille shutters, an active front air dam, improved aerodynamics and weight saving.