In March, Stellantis announced that it would be looking at offering a hydrogen-powered Ram Heavy Duty pickup sometime later this decade. The automaker has slowly been implementing hydrogen-powered commercial vans over the past year in Europe, showing that Stellantis is not just focusing on electrified vehicles as its only option for zero-emission freedom.
Hydrogen is energy-dense and when produced with renewable electricity, it’s considered “green” and carbon-free. Hydrogen fuel cells are a zero-emissions solution with the flexibility, power, and range that long-haul, heavy-duty trucks require. Compared to battery electric vehicles (BEVs), fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) also offer fast fueling and lighter weight, hydrogen tanks weigh thousands of pounds less than battery packs, which can lower cargo capacity.
Since the announcement, there have been several questions surrounding what hydrogen powertrain might be going into the next-generation Ram Heavy Duty pickups. But thanks to a post last night from Cummins on their Facebook page, we might have our answer sooner than later.
Cummins recently debuted their hydrogen-powered 15-liter (X15H) Cummins internal combustion engine (ICE) at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Anaheim, California. The X15H showcased a zero-carbon fuel ICE that has a lower initial price than a BEV or FCV and can be equipped to today’s vehicles with little modification.
During the event and on its Facebook post, Cummins announced its plans to release a 6.7-liter version similar to the X15H which will be built on Cummins’ new fuel-agnostic platform. Below the head gasket of the hydrogen engine, it is built with largely similar components to today’s engines. However, above the head gasket, the engine has different components for different fuel types.
Cummins currently supplies Ram with their 6.7-liter turbodiesel engines for the Ram 2500/3500 Heavy Duty pickups and 3500/4500/5500 Chassis Cab trucks. Approximately 75% of all Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickup owners choose the optional Cummins turbodiesel.
We expect that the next-generation Ram Heavy Duty pickups will make their debut in 2027 as 2028 models. This should be the first overhauled Heavy Duty model from Ram since the introduction of the fourth-generation Ram 2500/3500 in 2009 for the 2010 model year.
Compared to BEV offerings coming from other manufacturers, the hydrogen-powered Ram Heavy Duty should take only minutes to refuel. It should also boast higher towing capacity ratings and allow for longer intervals between refueling.
The next-generation Ram Heavy Duty is expected to ride on the STLA Frame architecture. STLA Frame is an evolution of the current Grand Wagoneer/Wagoneer (WS) architecture, which in itself is derived from the fifth-generation Ram 1500 (DT) platform. We expect the Heavy Duty models to get a much more robust chassis, with a possible solid-beam electric rear axle.
Stay tuned to HDRams.com website, for more news about the future of hydrogen in Ram Heavy Duty pickup trucks.