Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Mike Manley confirmed Wednesday the automaker’s Ram brand will bring an electric pickup truck to market.
The remarks, made in response to an analyst question during the company’s third-quarter earnings call, puts to rest rampant speculation, which was fueled by previous comments from Manley, that the automaker was planning to join what promises to become a crowded new category. The Detroit Free-Press was the first to report the comments.
“I do see that there will be an electrified Ram pickup in the marketplace, and I would ask you just to stay tuned for a little while and we’ll tell you exactly when that will be,” Manley said without providing additional details.
Fiat Chrysler reported Wednesday adjusted earnings of €2.28 billion ($2.7 billion) on €25.8 billion of revenue in the third quarter, driven by strong sales in North America and putting the company back in the black after struggles earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Electric pickup trucks aren’t available to consumers today. That will change in the next 18 months as a number of startups and legacy automakers such as GM and Ford begin to produce and deliver electric trucks to consumers. Rivian, the electric automaker backed by Amazon, BlackRock, Cox Automotive and T. Rowe Price Associates Inc., is aiming to become the first to bring an EV pickup truck to market. The company started in July to run a pilot production line at its factory in Normal, Illinois, in preparation to bring its pickup truck and SUV to market in summer 2021. Rivian has said deliveries of its R1T electric pickup truck will begin in June 2021. Deliveries of the R1S electric SUV will start in August 2021.
Meanwhile, legacy automaker Ford is going to produce an electric version of its top-selling F-150 at a new $700 million plant at the Rouge complex. Startup Lordstown Motors, which went public through its merger with special-purpose acquisition company DiamondPeak Holdings Corp., revealed a pickup truck prototype in June.
Electric pickups from GM and Tesla won’t arrive until 2022. GM revealed in October an electric GMC Hummer pickup truck that will be available for pre-ordering in 2021. The GMC Hummer pickup will be available for delivery in 2022. The futuristic-looking electric Tesla Cybertruck, which was unveiled in November at the Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, California, isn’t expected to go into production until late 2022.