Ram range-extended EV, heated seat belt, Mercedes charging network, Vinfast update: Today’s Car News

Mercedes has announced its own charging network. Vinfast revealed more details about its smaller EVs. A heated seat belt could help unlock more winter-time EV range. And how will a Ram range-extended electric truck take form? This and more, here at Green Car Reports. 

Stellantis’ Ram brand will soon offer a range-extended electric truck, the company confirmed last week. In a roundtable interview, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares emphasized that this is not a plug-in hybrid, but a range extender would need to deliver enough power for towing and hauling. Tavares also confirmed that it’s considering hydrogen fuel-cell heavy-duty pickups and vans for North America. 

Mercedes-Benz announced that it plans to have its own EV fast-charging network in place by the end of the decade, and the first focus is North America. It’s aiming to have 400 North American sites with 2,500 350-kw connectors in place by 2027—mostly along highways and close to amenities and Mercedes dealerships. 

Vietnam’s Vinfast confirmed last week that it delivered its first U.S.-bound VF 8 electric SUVs to customers. It also revealed some initial specs for the smaller VF 6 and VF 7 models, due for reservations in March. 

And why now for the heated seat belt introduced at CES? Supplier ZF says that with the textile process it’s perfected, it can deliver it at around the same cost as a heated steering wheel or heated seats. The timing is also right for EVs, as with its direct heat for occupants it might boost range up to 15% by cutting the load on cabin heat.

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