Howy - Looking for 2025 Ramcharger Info, Stopping by...

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dafish

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As the title says...

Retired Technology Analyst. Meaning I speak geek and engineering (badly). I've been towing boats, bikes, trailers full of sleds, ATV's, and SxS's all my life, have more time than I care to think about in everything from Rangers to F-350 powerstrokes. My wife has a Tesla Model Y-LR, our home is solar and creates more power then my house needs to, light, heat and cool the home as well as charge the Tesla.

I recently sold my F-150 Ecoboost to my son, sill have an old Dakota I use for towing a single sled or my bike ('15 vmax) around. Until Ford canceled, or maybe delayed, the '25 Ranger PHEV I was going to buy that, then I came with within a whisker of buying a PowerBoost. But nah, too many Ford service problems going on. I've also decided to add an RV to the toy list, so there went mid-size anyway.

My opinion of course, but I believe I have a pretty good handle on renewables, EV's, PHEV's, towing, and etc.. They could still screw up the to-be Ramcharger, but it's a pretty good start, and a pretty creative blend of off the shelf and their emerging REV.
 
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BossHogg

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I too am interested in reading a much more technical discussion of the Ramcharger's internals but I have yet to find much about it outside of high levels of discussion. All I've come up with is the propulsion system is a bus and on the bus is the battery, generator, and drive motors. How all that is arbitrated is of interest, in particular, the what and how of power management and power distribution on the bus?

I think the Ramcharger will turn out to be gas over electric propulsion once the battery is depleted. Then the generator can power the wheel motors while excess power is routed to the battery. It will be interesting to see what the final result is and even more interesting to see what the fuel mileage numbers are for a long-haul trip or towing a fishing boat around.

I wonder if the generator can power the vehicle while charging the battery or more pointedly, how long will it take to recharge the battery under this operating condition? My goal is to understand if the Ramcharger is feasible in my use case. Towing a 5,000-pound fishing boat around and making 400-mile round trips while towing the boat. I can't even find out what the cost of the vehicle will be, not even a ball park number.
 

crash68

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All I've come up with is the propulsion system is a bus and on the bus is the battery, generator, and drive motors. How all that is arbitrated is of interest, in particular, the what and how of power management and power distribution on the bus?
The automotive companies keep secrets like this more secure than your bank is with your money. Until it's officially announced your going to see lots of speculation. If the real facts do come out, it probably won't be known and good probability it's an intentional undisclosed "leak" or someone no longer has a job because of it.
 

chri5k

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Not sure it really makes sense for other than a grocery getter. The claimed 145 miles all-electric will probably be less than half that while towing. Current EV's showed that in a recent towing test. This means the gas engine / generator will have to make up the difference since there is no free lunch when it comes to energy.

I also wonder about the overall system efficiency. There are inherent energy losses in the ICE going from liquid fuel to mechanical rotation. Additional inherent energy losses in the generator going from mechanical rotation to electricity. Finally additional energy losses in the electric motor going from electricity to mechanical rotation. It seems the battery pack will be used to replace this lost energy and provide an occasional boost to the electric motors for acceleration. But then again, the energy in the battery has to come from somewhere since they are not charged by Unicorn farts.
 

Travelin Ram

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Some gain in efficiency insofar as the ICE fuel use should result from being able to run at a fixed RPM and load where BSFC is optimal. Rather than variable RPM and torque requirements of matching the load at the wheels. That’s what’s caused the growth of transmission speeds in conventional cars from 3 to 10.

BSFC
 

chri5k

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Some gain in efficiency insofar as the ICE fuel use should result from being able to run at a fixed RPM and load where BSFC is optimal. Rather than variable RPM and torque requirements of matching the load at the wheels. That’s what’s caused the growth of transmission speeds in conventional cars from 3 to 10.

BSFC
That and the use of the Atkinson Cycle can push ICE efficiency upwards. Not sure that would overcome the other inherent losses down the line.
 

crash68

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Not sure it really makes sense for other than a grocery getter. The claimed 145 miles all-electric will probably be less than half that while towing. Current EV's showed that in a recent towing test. This means the gas engine / generator will have to make up the difference since there is no free lunch when it comes to energy.
Grocery getter, even if the store is on the other side of the country. Losses are inherent no matter what drivetrain is used.
The Ramcharger carries its own charger that capable of 30% more power than the battery pack capacity. The electric drivetrain won't be under a full load all the time so the ICE generator will be able to keep the battery pack with power to drive until the gas runs out.
 

chri5k

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Grocery getter, even if the store is on the other side of the country. Losses are inherent no matter what drivetrain is used.
The Ramcharger carries its own charger that capable of 30% more power than the battery pack capacity. The electric drivetrain won't be under a full load all the time so the ICE generator will be able to keep the battery pack with power to drive until the gas runs out.
I was addressing the towing a 5000 Lb boat on 400 mi round trip. In those type of "truck" scenarios the drivetrain will be under considerably more load. In the ICE drive train energy conversion happens twice from liquid fuel to mechanical rotation. The hybrid drive train adds 2 more conversions. It will be interesting to see how these vehicles perform in those scenarios.
 

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Like crash68 said earlier, lot of speculation and inaccurate information going around. I looked at this piece from the article;

"Rather than providing power to the wheels, it works as a range extender for the Ramcharger's battery pack by powering a generator that converts the energy produced by the gas engine into electricity. From there, the battery is responsible for juicing up the front and rear electric motors that make up the truck's all-wheel-drive system"

They are implying the generator charges the battery and the battery drives the wheels. Physics class 101 would have taught us NOT, simply too much energy conversion, and with each conversion you lose energy to heat. The prospects of perpetual can not be achieved.

I think once the battery is depleted, the generator will come online and provide primary propulsion, what power is used by propulsion will go to charge the batteries. This is the logical and lowest loss path but hey, you never know what they have come up with since I retired.
 

Travelin Ram

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@BossHogg I agree with you on the conversion losses. Most likely the writers have incomplete information or understanding. The state of journalism today is appalling as well. Just yesterday I read an article where contradictory statements were made, in two adjacent paragraphs. Apparently proof reading and editing is a dead art.

I expect the generator, battery, and motors should live on a common bus, with the computer shuttling power around while juggling the competing demands of efficiency and driver input and road conditions. Someone will have to do a bunch of number crunching to sort that out, yet it’s probably less complicated than designing the ECM tables to control the IC engine and an 8 speed mechanical transmission.
 
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dafish

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Some gain in efficiency insofar as the ICE fuel use should result from being able to run at a fixed RPM and load where BSFC is optimal. Rather than variable RPM and torque requirements of matching the load at the wheels. That’s what’s caused the growth of transmission speeds in conventional cars from 3 to 10.

BSFC

and therein lies a huge, apparently oft missed, key. It’s late and and I don’t have time now, but when we look at an NA pentastar running in the 2500-3000rpm range we can see a very efficient engine delivering lots of power to the bus and EDM’s. The batts can make up hills, passing, and etc for hundreds of miles, even recharge mildly.

it will be a towing godsend.
 
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dafish

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Like crash68 said earlier, lot of speculation and inaccurate information going around. I looked at this piece from the article;

"Rather than providing power to the wheels, it works as a range extender for the Ramcharger's battery pack by powering a generator that converts the energy produced by the gas engine into electricity. From there, the battery is responsible for juicing up the front and rear electric motors that make up the truck's all-wheel-drive system"

They are implying the generator charges the battery and the battery drives the wheels. Physics class 101 would have taught us NOT, simply too much energy conversion, and with each conversion you lose energy to heat. The prospects of perpetual can not be achieved.

I think once the battery is depleted, the generator will come online and provide primary propulsion, what power is used by propulsion will go to charge the batteries. This is the logical and lowest loss path but hey, you never know what they have come up with since I retired.

mostly no, IMO.

kill the battery and them start the engine. It will certainly have an EV only mode, and thats how one would use it around town and or local. As we all know, most daily use is well under 50 miles, so why not use cheap/clean (usually) electricity to meet that need.

For towing it will doubtless have a “hybrid/battery maintainer mode. As has been mentioned, an NA ICE getting to run at optimum BSFC will do quite well. Acelebration, hills, passing, etc will get met by the batteries.

efficiency loss? Sure, but so does any drivetrain. If we can even get close, and it will, it will be fine. look at what the CRV serial hybrid as an example.
 
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dafish

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5000lbs, 400 miles, and it’s a boat?

i suppose it depends on the boat, but as a general rule that’s not hard to tow. Something around 100hp should be reasonable power average, and that won’t be hard to meet.

boss, what mpg average do you get now, and what with?
 

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I was addressing the towing a 5000 Lb boat on 400 mi round trip. In those type of "truck" scenarios the drivetrain will be under considerably more load. In the ICE drive train energy conversion happens twice from liquid fuel to mechanical rotation. The hybrid drive train adds 2 more conversions. It will be interesting to see how these vehicles perform in those scenarios.
Pretty common setup for large ships, trains and other high load industrial settings so I wouldn't worry about it being up to the task as long as the electric motors are sufficient for the load. Only real issue I see is what the curb weight might be. Heavier the vehicle the more tires and suspension parts you run through. I'd say btakes too, but the regenerative braking systems should counter that.
 

Wmjohn

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According to a Ram official the Rancharger setup will be something akin to a Toyota Prius. Though electric motors can be powerful the gas engine portion is reported to be a V6.

It may not be an optimal package for towing 5000 pound boats, much less the far heavier rvs.

For towing, with the imminent demise of the hemi, you might be stuck with the Hurricane V6 and twin turbos.
 
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