The latest salvo in the war on gas guzzling was fired by Ram, the first company to put hybrid-electric powertrains into mainstream pickups. Ram’s move was something of a surprise, since pickup buyers don’t usually seem to like the idea of hybrids, which may explain why GM’s hybrid trucks never took off.

2019 Ram 1500 hybrid

Today, Ram released figures on the 2019 1500’s fuel economy, and we can see exactly what the savings are. For the Hemi, the magic number is 2 mpg for the rear-drive pickup — that’s the gap between the standard Hemi and the Hemi hybrid. It’s a substantial number over the truck’s life, since, if the pickup travels 12,000 “typical” miles in a year, it will use 706 gallons without the hybrid, and 632 gallons with it. Multiply 74 gallons per year times a few hundred thousand trucks on the roads, times the twenty years or so they should last, and you have a pretty large number.
V6 RWD(17)*(25)*2025
V6 4x4(16)*(23)*1924
Hemi RWD15221723
Hemi 4x415211722
* 2018 Ram 1500 used for comparison. There is no non-hybrid 2019 Ram 1500 with a V6 engine.

The six-cylinder is more intriguing, though, because it’s the six-cylinder that needs the responsiveness of the hybrid the most. There’s no direct comparison there, because you can’t buy a 2019 Ram 1500 with a non-hybrid V6. That said, the 2018 model turned in 17 city, 25 highway with rear drive, and 16/23 with the 4x4. The 2019 V6 hybrid turns in 20/25 with rear drive, and 19/24 with 4x4. That’s a 3-mpg city-cycle gain, which is nothing to sneeze at.

With the Hemi, there are some gains from being able to put the engine into four-cylinder mode, which may help explain the Hemi’s 1 mpg highway gain.

The differences are perhaps clearest when we look at combined city/highway mileage alone:
V6 RWDn/a22
V6 4x4n/a21
Hemi RWD1719
Hemi 4x41719
Given that the V6 has gotten high marks from the reviewers, and that the electric motors seem to take away the major disadvantage of the smaller engine — its responsiveness — the gas mileage gain seems like a bonus, more than the goal.