Here's How The 2019 Ram eTorque's MPG Compares to Its Non-Hybrid Predecessor

Illustration for article titled Here's How The 2019 Ram eTorque's MPG Compares to Its Non-Hybrid Predecessor
Truck YeahThe trucks are good!

The question Ram and its customers have likely been asking since the mild-hybrid 2019 Ram 1500 debuted at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show is “Is the hybrid system worth the cost, weight, and complexity?” Now, with official EPA numbers in, part of that answer is here, because the electrified truck scores 3 mpg better than its non-hybrid predecessor.

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All V6 variants of the new-for-2019 “DT” generation Ram pickup will come with a lithium ion battery pack behind the rear bench and a Motor Generator Unit taking the place of an alternator. And while some customers might prefer the simplicity of a standard, non-electrified truck, the good news is that the mandatory mild hybrid system on the entry-level DT at least offers some significant fuel economy benefits. Well, according to EPA ratings.

Data from RAM
Data from RAM

Back when I reviewed the Ram eTorque a few weeks back, we already knew that the 5.7-liter V8 eTorque Ram offered an improvement of 2 mpg city and highway combined compared to its non-hybrid counterpart, but V6 numbers weren’t available yet.

Today, Ram says it has the official figures, so the brand sent me the table above. As you can see, the V6 eTorque scores up to 20 mpg city and 22 mpg combined, or 3 mpg city and 2 mpg combined higher than the 3.6-liter non-hybrid Ram Classic (this is the “DS” last-generation truck). Those are improvements of roughly 10 to 20 percent, and that’s significant.

Still, even if the improvement for the Ram is nothing to scoff at, it’s worth mentioning that the more powerful Ford F-150 with a 2.7-liter EcoBoost turbo V6 manages up to 20 mpg city and 22 mpg combined as well, but gets 1 mpg higher on the highway at up to 26 mpg—and this is without a hybrid system. And it’s also worth mentioning that a 5.0-liter V8 Ford F-150 has the same fuel economy scores as the mild hybrid Ram V8, despite having similar horsepower figures and despite lacking hybrid hardware.

So it’s a big step for Ram, but still not quite at the leading edge of gas half-ton pickup truck fuel economy. Though really what matters is how the truck does in real-world driving conditions, and for that, we’ll only find out as these things start rolling out to customers.

Sr. Tech Editor, Jalopnik. Owner of far too many Jeeps (Including a Jeep Comanche). Follow my instagram (@davidntracy). Always interested in hearing from engineers—email me.

DISCUSSION

I‘m curious how exactly this Hybrid system saves you highway MPG at all.

Hybrid systems are generally good for city driving where you recover energy through the brakes, and intermittent charges. When I think about Trucks, I think about long highway hauls, often with a trailer attached, which means that the Hybrid system depletes and is not of much use.

My only guess is that:
a) They have aggressively de-tuned the engine towards less horsepower and more fuel economy. The Hybrid system fools you into feeling more power when you actually put the petal to the floor.

b) The hybrid system charges itself under low highway loads (level ground or downhill), and gives a slight bump when you pass or go uphill.  Essentially, it levels the engine load in all situations.