Over the past couple of years, the demand for the full-size Ram ProMaster commercial van has continued to grow. So much so, that Stellantis has put a plan in place to expand the manufacturing capacity at the Saltillo Van Assembly Plant in Mexico in the recent year.
This included adding a third shift to the 2.8 million square feet facility, which now employs 2,404 (2,242 hourly; 162 salaried). Stellantis is also increasing production by 4 jobs per hour, which should raise production to a full capacity of 97,000 units per year by 2023 according to a presentation shown earlier this year to fleet owners.
Going into the 2022 model year, the Ram ProMaster receives an important mid-cycle-action (MCA). While it didn’t address the exterior styling which some have criticized, it did give the full-size van an updated cockpit, vast upgrades in technology, more standard safety features, and an updated powertrain to give the ProMaster a 9% increase in fuel economy.
But one variant RAM Commercial hasn’t been quiet about, is the introduction of the new Ram ProMaster BEV (battery-electric vehicle) due to make an appearance in 2023. The new all-electric full-size van will offer commercial customers, a gasoline/diesel-free alternative to deliver and provide service from. Thanks to the recent introduction of the Fiat E-Ducato (the FIAT brand’s all-electric offering of the ProMaster’s architecture sibling the Ducato), we now know what the Ram version will be capable of.
The 2021 Fiat E-Ducato can achieve the equivalent performance to its diesel counterparts, thanks to an electric motor with a maximum power delivery of 280 Nm (207 ft.-lbs.) of torque and 90 kW of power (or 122 horsepower). This means that the E-Ducato can achieve a 0 to 50 km/h (31 mph) time in about 5 seconds. While that might not seem like some of the incredible performance numbers of most BEVs, the E-Ducato isn’t tuned for performance as it is for efficiency.
The E-Ducato is also fitted out with a series of modular solutions, starting from two different battery blocks. There is a 47 kWh and a 79 kWh, best-in-class for installed electrical capacity, and four types of charging modes. We believe that the Ram ProMaster BEV should be equipped with the 79 kWh pack, if not bigger once it hits the market.
With a 79-kWh battery, the E-Ducato can travel up to 280 kilometers (174 miles) in the Worldwide harmonized Light-duty vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) cycle, equivalent to 370 kilometers (230 miles) in the urban cycle. It takes no longer than half an hour to charge up enough to drive 100 kilometers (62 miles). It is worth mentioning that Stellantis offer a warranty for 10 years or 220,000 kilometers (136,700 miles) on the 79-kWh battery packs.
In terms of flexibility, to meet such a wide and diverse range of needs, the E-Ducato also offers a Drive Mode Selector. In its “Normal” position, it ensures the ideal balance between performance and costs, or it can be set to “Eco” mode to save energy. When a really heavy load needs to be carried or the vehicle is facing a demanding ascent, the right choice is “Power” mode. E-Ducato has another two features to provide its drivers with peace of mind –
- “Turtle Mode” – similar to the battery saver function on a cellphone. It is activated automatically when the battery is low and limits vehicle performance, to make the battery last 8 to 10% longer.
- “Recovery Mode” – If one battery module does not work, the other takes its place to make sure it can keep going.
And thanks to its original, uncompromising front-wheel-drive architecture, the Ram ProMaster BEV (like the Fiat E-Ducato) has been modeled around customers’ requirements. With no bulk at the bottom of the chassis and ample distance between the side rails, the batteries are optimally placed under the floor, leaving intact the load capacity, and almost 2 tons of weight. Other obvious advantages are the optimal distribution of weight and lowering of the center of gravity, to improve the vehicle’s handling under all load conditions. That battery pack can be seen in these recent spy photos from our friends at GabetzSPYUnit.
We can clearly see the optional 16-inch x 6-inch aluminum wheels from the Ram ProMaster lineup, are equipped on this tester.
This particular 2023 Ram ProMaster BEV appears to be parked in a Stellantis holding lot. While we don’t get to see much of the front of the vehicle due to it being facing in-ward, we can see that the front fascia is heavily camouflaged. It also appears that this electrified model also adopts the LED taillamps from the E-Ducato. Most BEV models in today’s world adopt LED exterior lighting, we expect that the Ram ProMaster BEV will do the same.
2023 Ram ProMaster BEV Image Gallery: