A State-of-the-Art EV Advocate for Transporting the Van Market to a New Era

The human arsenal is made up from all sorts of abilities, but no ability it has can ever be deemed as import as the one helping us get better on a consistent basis. We say this because the reality has already fetched the world some huge milestones, with technology emerging as quite a major member of the group. The reason why we hold technology in such a high regard is, by and large, predicated upon its skill-set, which ushered us towards a reality that nobody could have ever imagined otherwise. Nevertheless, if we look beyond the surface for one hot second, it will become abundantly clear how the whole runner was also very much inspired from the way we applied those skills across a real world environment. The latter component, in fact, did plenty and then some to give the creation a spectrum-wide presence, and as a result, initiated a full-blown tech revolution. Of course, the next thing this revolution did was to scale up the human experience through some outright unique avenues, but even after achieving a feat so notable, technology will somehow continue to bring forth the right goods. The same has turned more and more evident in recent times, and assuming one new automotive-themed development ends up with the desired impact, it will only put that trend on a higher pedestal moving forward.

Ram, a Stellantis-owned automotive brand, has officially announced the launch of a Ram ProMaster electric van, which so happens to be its first fully electrified vehicle. Boasting a maximum speed of upto 162 miles/hour in city conditions, the stated van will be available in two mission-specific configurations, including the delivery model and two cargo models. These cargo models, in turn, will launch in two configurations of their own, including a 12-foot cargo length and an extended 13-foot length. The cargo iteration will also feature up to 3,020 pounds in payload, whereas the delivery configuration is set to offer around 2,030 pounds worth of payload. Both the configurations, however, are given a standard 110-kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery pack; along with a 200-kilowatt (kW) electric drive module (EDM). This module can deliver 268 horsepower, 302 lb.-ft. of torque, and standard front-wheel-drive capability. Going back to the battery bit, the general framework of Ram ProMaster EV comes decked up with a unibody design which incorporates the battery pack rather efficiently. This is only further complimented through the battery’s positioning in center of the vehicle, a position which goes a long way to maintain flat floor. More on the battery would take the discussion to Level 3 DC fast charging options of 50kW, 85kW, 125 kW, and 150 kW, all placed on the offer by Ram’s new electric van. Joining the same is a wall box charger (Level 2) that can offer up to 11 kW in capacity. The company has even introduced here a port illumination mechanism and an audible sound alert to confirm the connection. Next up, we must acknowledge the van’s prospects around fleet management, prospects that reveal themselves once you consider how Ram ProMaster EV’s delivery vehicle offers a rear roll-up door to satisfy the cargo loading and unloading required for vocational and delivery customers alike. The stated roll-up door is markedly constructed using anodized aluminum to ensure weight and durability optimization for meeting high-duty cycles. Beyond that, the vehicle also has a pocket door to ease ingress and egress during deliveries.

To further bolster its potential across fleet management, the new van will bring to the fore a solution in Ram Telematics, which can seamlessly generate vehicle location and driving insights to help reduce fuel costs, improve route efficiency, and promote safer driving behaviors. Not just that, the solution also offers, through Uconnect, real-time vehicle diagnostics and performance data, a feature that sits next to its knowhow in facilitating nearly 50 functions on ProMaster, including Firmware Over the Air (FOTA) updates, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and Apps Over the Air (AOTA). Furthermore, Ram Telematics’ last-mile navigation capabilities can provide you walking directions from vehicle to final destination via Uconnect companion smartphone app, available on compatible mobile devices. The ProMaster electric van even has Alexa home-to-truck and truck-to-home functionality which delivers at the customer’s disposal an in-vehicle virtual assistant.

Another detail worth a mention here talks to the van’s pledge of fulfilling several unique customer needs in the vocational and delivery space. Hence, in its bid to be as accommodating as possible, the ProMaster vehicle features a 159-inch wheelbase super-high-roof, heated steering wheel, and heated windshield. It also lets you access nearly 524 cubic feet of cargo space, a standard best-in-class interior cargo height of 86 inches, low load-floor height, cargo width between wheel wells, as well as maximum cargo width in general. Extending its long-established reputation for providing upfitter-friendly offerings, Ram’s latest brainchild has a standard upfitter electrical connector and an integrated cab configuration for easy upfitter/conversion solutions. The upfitting aspect is further democratized by the fact that it is available for every commercial need. The company managed to make such a pledge, thanks to its unique front-drive system, body-integral construction, and the multiple configurations.

“The introduction of the Ram ProMaster EV represents another major milestone on our electrification journey as we continue to evolve without sacrificing capability,” said Tim Kuniskis, CEO of Stellantis’ Ram brand. “Ram’s first available electric vehicle is a game-changer, offering commercial customers, large and small, the ultimate van in zero-emissions performance, commercial capability and advanced technology.”

Apart from augmented technological prowess, the new van has also dedicated a fair amount of focus towards customer safety. This focus springs into light when you look at vehicle’s features like full-speed forward collision warning, crosswind assist, rear backup camera with dynamic gridlines, post-collision braking, drowsiness detection, traffic sign information, auto high-beams, cornering function fog lamps, push-button starter, keyless entry (all doors), and an electric parking brake. These are to function in conjunction with various optional functionalities, such as intelligent speed assist, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control with stop & go, active drive assist system, front parking sensors and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Hold on, there is still a lot more left, considering we still haven’t discussed its secure park feature, where the vehicle is automatically kept from getting shifted out of park unless a key is present. Moving, the van is handed standard LED headlights and fog lights with improved durability. To put things into perspective, the standard LED headlights offer 70% more Lumens versus the previous-generation gas-powered Ram ProMaster. Solidifying the visibility promise even further is a standard high-resolution backup camera that boasts dynamic grid lines. In a bid to leave no stone unturned, the vehicle also has a digital rearview mirror which displays video in real time across all driving modes from a rear-facing camera. However, if you aren’t comfortable with that, there still remains an option to switch off the system and go back to a traditional reflective mirror. The van in question also has a 360-degree surround view camera to basically give you a bird’s-eye view of the vehicle and its surroundings, a view which is only enhanced by dynamic grid lines displayed on a 10.1-inch digital touchscreen.

Customers who buy this van can expect a reduced burden of driving their vehicle themselves, as it features an active driving assist functionality to provide you Level 2 (L2) automated driving capability. This includes hands-on-wheel and eyes-on-road automated driving using lane centering and adaptive cruise control.

Before rounding things up, we must revisit the presence of Uconnect 5 system in this van and dig up a deeper lowdown. From what we know so far, it is going to be five times faster than the technology used in Ram’s previous vehicles. Putting on the offer content from SiriusXM with 360L, the system comes bearing a reconfigurable touchscreen display which features split-screen capability for dual application operation. Next up, it unlocks access to a fully customizable home screen to make frequently used features more accessible. Notably, this isn’t the only place where we have customization capabilities available. You see, users can also enjoy a personalized brand of music preferences, apps, mirror angles, and climate comfort levels. Featuring Wi-Fi capability and up to five individual user profiles, the Uconnect system further extends wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto services. Aside from that, you can also keep your Uconnect navigation system up-to-date through over-the-air (OTA) map updates, and you can do so at the push of a button.

The new Ram ProMaster Electric van, more subtly, fine-tunes your experience on the back of a feature in EV Dynamic Trip Prediction. The idea is to encourage driver’s peace of mind by providing the projected and actual modeled discharge profile, indicating the percentage of the battery that has been discharged relative to the overall capacity of the battery. Along the similar lines of convenience, we also have a charging station locator to automatically locate an EV charging station when the vehicle’s energy is running low. Lastly, the van has a wireless charging pad and connectivity ports that are configured for quick recognition. These ports pack together one standard 12V power outlet, a fully functional USB outlet, and a standard USB Type C port so to facilitate charging at a rate four times faster than the norm. In case required, there is an optional 115-volt/150-watt outlet situated right below the USBs.

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