Fiat Chrysler CEO talks about electric pickup

Fiat Chrysler has long been a favorite whipping boy for EV journalists. Of the US Big Three, it’s been the proudest defender of the gas-powered status quo, joining GM in the fight against US emissions standards, and agreeing to pay Tesla hundreds of millions of euros in order to avoid producing EVs in Europe.

However, perhaps we’ve been a bit too hard on poor Chrysler. Two years ago, the company announced a plan to develop several new EVs for the Chinese market, and it will launch a PHEV version of the Jeep Wrangler later this year.

Unlike rivals Ford and GM, FCA has declined to board the electric pickup truck bandwagon. Or is that an unfair assessment? In fact, CEO Mike Manley has mentioned the idea of possibly considering an electric pickup not once, but twice now. Three months ago, during the company’s second-quarter earnings conference call, Manley said, “Obviously, pickup trucks is a key franchise for us, and we’re not going to sit on the sideline if there is a danger that our position gets diluted going forward.”

Now Manley has displayed a slightly brighter spark of interest in the concept. During the recent third-quarter earnings call, in answer to an analyst’s question, he said, “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.”

No development timeline, investment plans, vehicle specs or any other details were offered. In case you don’t feel like waiting, we do have plenty of information about the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX pickup, which sports a  6.2-liter Hemi V8 gas engine that cranks out 702 hp and gets an estimated 12 mpg.

Source: Detroit Free Press