Guest Editorials, Opinion

Electric truck comes with its own gas generator

A new electric truck will come with its own gas generator to improve reliability. That may sound like a headline from The Onion. But it’s no joke.

Stellantis makes Ram pickups. Recently, the company announced a new electric version called the Ramcharger. It has an electric battery — and a 27-gallon gas tank. That gas is used to recharge the battery, giving the pickup a range of 690 miles. Of that, only 145 miles comes from the charged electric battery. The rest comes from gasoline recharging the electric battery.

Rarely do you get such a perfect visual of the shortcomings of the current electric vehicle market. EVs are dependable — as long as your gas tank is full. Buy an EV to lower emissions and make sure to stop by the gas station. No need to find a charger for your EV on the road, just fill ‘er up.

The whole thing is even more absurd given that Stellantis is simply responding to government mandates. For almost four decades, the federal government has been telling automakers how many miles per gallon their vehicle fleet must average by imposing Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards.

Last year, the Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released new standards for cars and light trucks. By model year 2026, the industry fleet average must reach around 49 mpg.

In July, bureaucrats proposed even stricter CAFE standards. By model year 2032, cars and light trucks must have a fleet-wide average of 58 mpg. Heavy-duty trucks, such as the Ram, must increase their fuel efficiency by 10 percent annually between 2030 and 2035.

Suddenly, an electric truck powered by a gas generator makes more sense. Stellantis has come up with a creative way to abide by the letter of the regulations while still giving its customers the dependability of fossil fuels.

The Ramcharger will increase the fuel efficiency of its fleet, allowing it to sell the product most of its customers want — gasoline-powered trucks.

Too bad such creative thinking isn’t spent designing products people want, rather than jumping through hoops set by government bureaucrats. These mandates drive up prices for all vehicles. That’s the inevitable result when companies have to build products consumers don’t want in order to sell products they do desire.

The EV revolution has always been primarily powered by fossil fuels. The new Ramcharger just cuts out the middleman.

This editorial first appeared in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. This commentary should be considered another point of view and not necessarily the opinion or editorial policy of The Dominion Post.