It sounds flashy, but what does eTorque mean exactly and why should you think about buying a Dodge Ram 1500 with this technology? We like helping our customers in Brampton and Mississauga find their next great vehicle, and we also love to decode auto tech lingo for those who aren’t as well-versed in the latest lingo. We’ve written about the rising star that is the all-new Ram 1500, but if you’re still not sure about why eTorque is a good thing for your Ram, read on. Truck lovers—lifelong and newbies—this one’s for you.
What is eTorque?
Bascially, eTorque system replaces a conventional alternator. For the non-gearheads in the crowd, the alternator is a generator of electric power in your car. It’s a major component of your vehicle’s charging system. While your vehicle’s engine is running, the alternator is what charges your battery and supplies additional electric power to the vehicle’s various electrical systems. When the wheels on your truck are spinning, there’s terrific potential to generate power, even when you’re slowing the vehicle down. But on alternator-controlled cars and trucks, while much of that braking energy is converted into heat, it’s wasted. Until now: regenerative braking systems are on the scene, converting heat waste to usable electricity. And that, my friends, is eTorque.
Until very recently, regenerative braking systems were mostly implemented in cars, from mild hybrids to gasoline-electric hybrids to full-on electric vehicles. The pickup segment has been resistant to hybrid vehicles, but that may be about to change. The introduction of the 2019 Ram 1500’s eTorque shows that regen systems are being made available on full-size pickups. Always up on green technology and how it benefits drivers, we’re especially excited about what that means for all you truck lovers in the GTA. The 2019 Ram has already won an award from Green Car Journal: 2019 Green Truck of the Year. We call that getting off to a brilliant start.
It’s not that we don’t understand the reservations pickup drivers may have about embracing green technology. It seems to be grounded in perceptions of what kind of person drives a hybrid vehicle. Some of you may have concerns about hybrid trucks running out of juice at critical moments. But the Ram’s eTorque system definitely deserves a longer look, because as much as it’s a greener technology, it’s also good for your wallet and the longevity of your beloved pickup.
With Ram eTorque, when you accelerate from a low speed, the truck’s regen capability acts as a motor that throws power at the engine’s crankshaft. It’s a helping hand of sorts, which has some benefits worth considering. When you ease off the throttle to just coast, or when you touch down lightly on your brake pedal, the engine’s slowing crankshaft reverses the eTorque system. It goes from being an electric motor assisting the engine to an effective generator spun by the engine. That energy, instead of being wasted, is passed into a 430 watt-hour, air-cooled, lithium-ion battery pack, about the size of a small suitcase. It’s very handily mounted inside the passenger cabin on the rear wall, right between seats and pickup bed.
Power is conserved for the benefit of your truck. The aforementioned battery pack turns the 48V juice into the typical 12V that charges the smaller lead-acid battery. It also powers up important engine accessories like your electric engine cooling fan. With the motor freed up from the task of running a cooling fan and alternator, more power travels to the wheels. Think of it as your truck gaining all the benefits of a great meal. The engine isn’t making more power, but your truck makes better use of the power it has. There’s no complicated math involved: fuel economy is enhanced, especially when it comes to towing tasks. The system powers a now-conventional start-stop system you are probably quite familiar with. Your engine shuts off at traffic stops, and now eTorque quickly restarts as soon as the gas pedal is pushed. This saves gas by lessening the overall time and energy spent idling. For those cold engine starts after your truck has been sitting for a time, a traditional starter motor driven by a 12V lead acid car battery kicks in with reliable efficiency.
How does eTorque affect Ram’s braking?
On a Ram 1500 with eTorque, there are three different stages of braking regen. In situations where you’re coasting, or when you need to apply just a little bit of brake, such as heading down a moderately sloped hill, eTorque opts for pure regen. In this instance, the truck’s conventional disc brakes are disabled. The friction of the generator capturing that previously-wasted braking energy is enough to slow the truck as needed.
For those occasions when you need to lay more intense pressure on the brake, Ram has blended regen, which allows the conventional disc brakes and regen to work in tandem. The generator still gathers up the braking energy, but now the brakes themselves are helping out, too. In more urgent emergency situations that demand harder, more sudden braking, regen is completely disabled and the traditional disc brakes take over, stopping your truck.
What are the current eTorque engine options for Ram?
The 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 Ram 1500s will come standard with eTorque, and it’ll be available as an option on the 5.7L Hemi V8. The V6’s eTorque generator is liquid-cooled and mounted on the front of the engine, while the V8’s is air-cooled and mounted on the top of the engine. The design differences really just come down to packaging and the space required for the necessary engine bay components. The eTorque system gives some additional boost to accelerations below 2,000 rpm, as well as adding an additional 90 foot-pounds of torque on the V6 and 130 on the V8. It doesn’t increase the truck’s power as much as it smooths out gaps in the engine’s torque bands at lowered speeds. Power isn’t lost, not at all. In fact, according to one industry insider, the Ram 1500’s eTorque 0-60 mph times are pretty much identical to non-eTorque models.
How does eTorque impact the Ram’s towing?
Adding eTorque to the Hemi cranks up your Ram’s towing capacity from 11,610 to 12,750 lbs, a noticeable increase. For this, we recommend opting for the tallest 3.92 axle ratio and tow package. The regen technology also has a positive impact on fuel efficiency on the Hemi from 17 mph combined city/highway to 19 mph on two- and four-wheel-drive models. If you think about it, electrification will make even more sense on even bigger working trucks, mainly because electric motors excel at creating great torque from idle, ideal for towing and hauling heavy loads. We’ll wait and see if Ram moves this technology to the rest of its pickup line
, but for now, the Ram 1500 is grabbing rave reviews.
Where can I buy a Ram 1500 with eTorque in Mississauga?
Team Chrysler has Ram 1500 inventory that can’t be beat. Book a test drive today and see what eTorque feels like behind the wheel.
Where is Team Chrysler located?