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Ram, Nissan, Ford Show Mileage Matters, Even to Pickup Buyers

Who will be the first to top 30 mpg?

by on Jan.19, 2015

The new 2015 Ram 1500 Express equipped with the maker’s EcoDiesel delivers an impressive 29 miles per gallon on the highway.

It wasn’t all that long ago when light duty pickup buyers would have celebrated seeing fuel economy numbers approaching the high teens. Now, however, that’s something even heavy-duty models often deliver.

But can manufacturers crack the mileage ceiling with a truck that would get 30 mpg or better? Several makers are coming tantalizingly close.

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There’s been “a lot of noise around” fuel economy in the light truck segment, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said during an appearance at the Detroit Auto Show. Indeed, his own company has been crowing loudly about an updated version of its own full-size model, the new 2015 Ram 1500 Express. (more…)

Pres. Obama Pushes for More Fuel-Efficient Trucks

Cites cost benefits for consumers, along with impact on climate change.

by on Feb.18, 2014

Trucks like these will be getting significantly better fuel economy in the years ahead.

President Barack Obama wants to markedly improve the fuel-efficiency of both medium- and heavy-duty trucks, a move that he says will address global climate change even while reducing costs for consumers.

The president announced the new move during an appearance today at a grocery distribution center in suburban Washington, a map of the U.S. behind him.  It is one of a series of steps Obama plans to take, with or without the support of a divided Congress.

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“Improving gas mileage for these trucks is going to drive down our oil imports even further,” the president said during his visit to a Safeway facility in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. “That reduces carbon pollution even more, cuts down on businesses’ fuel costs, which should pay off in lower prices for consumers. So it’s not just a win-win. It’s a win-win-win.”

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First Drive: 2013 Ram 1500

Deja vu? Not when you take a closer look.

by on Aug.27, 2012

It may look a lot like the old truck but there've been major changes made to the 2013 Ram 1500.

Looks can be deceptive. The 2013 Ram 1500 pickup truck might appear quite familiar but beneath the sheet metal it’s actually a new truck that delivers a quiet smooth ride as well as full range of truck features – along with markedly better mileage.

The new Dodge Ram has staked out a claim to be the most fuel-efficient full-size pickup truck on the road as well as one featuring a comfortable, car-like interior, which represents another step in the evolution of the pickup truck away from its strictly utilitarian roots.

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The revamped Ram is being offered with two different engines. The relatively new Pentastar V-6 with variable valve timing, which Chrysler says delivers 42% more horsepower, 13% more torque and 20% more fuel economy than the older 3.7-liter V-6 engine.  In addition, the 2013 Ram 1500 also is available with a classic 5.7-Hemi V-8.

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White House to Issue First-Ever Mileage Standards for Big Trucks

Semis, heavy-duty pickups and even fire trucks will be covered.

by on Aug.09, 2011

Semis, like this Navistar rig, will be targeted for a 23% improvement in fuel economy.

Having reached a compromise that will nearly double the fuel economy of the typical passenger vehicle over the next 14 years, the Obama Administration is now taking aim at some of the nation’s biggest gas-guzzlers.

The White House is scheduled to announce first-ever fuel economy standards for big trucks – which could mean cutting gas consumption by as much as 23% by 2018.  The rules, which will be announced later today, will cover everything from 18-wheel semis to garbage and fire trucks – as well as the heav-duty versions of pickups like the Ford F550, which aren’t included in the mileage rules announced late last month.

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Administration officials expect the new rules to more than pay off in terms of reduced fuel bills – while also slashing the production of greenhouse gases and other noxious emissions.  Preliminary estimates indicate vehicles meeting the new standards will ultimately save about 530 million barrels of oil which, at anticipated prices after the current economic downturn, could be worth more than $50 billion.

The new standards, which will cover the years 2014 through 2018, will impact three categories of vehicles: (more…)

Feds Set To Raise Truck Mileage Standards

Final Ruling Due Today.

by on Oct.25, 2010

Truck prices will likely go up - but fuel savings could reach $20,000 annually.

While federal authorities continue debating a massive jump in fuel economy standards for passenger cars and light trucks, a big increase in mileage requirements for heavy-duty vehicles is set to be formally announced as early as today.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation are reportedly set to require increases of anywhere from 10% to 20% in fuel economy, depending on the size of the truck.  The new standards would cover everything from 18-wheelers to school buses, garbage trucks to heavy-duty pickups.

The new rules, which would go into effect in 2014 and extend through 2018, would require a 20% increase in the mileage of the long-haul trucks that handle a huge percentage of America’s freight shipments.

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Such trucks are routinely driven 150,000 miles or more annually, and average between 5 and 8 mpg.  That means the proposed increase might save as much as 6,000 of fuel per long-haul truck – the equivalent of what a dozen automobiles consumer annually.

In all, medium and heavy-duty trucks consume about 20% of the transportation fuel used in the United States.

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Ford F-150 To Reign As Fuel Economy King

New engine boosting pickup mileage to 23 mpg.

by on Oct.14, 2010

Ford will deliver up to 23 mpg with a 2011 F-150 equipped with the new 3.7-liter V6.

Good fuel economy is not something normally associated with a pickup truck – one reason the truck market crashed when gas prices spiked past $4 a gallon in 2008.  But Ford Motor Co. is betting that a new array of powertrains, including a high-mileage V6, will help revive demand among personal users as well as those watching their budget at work.

The compact 3.7-liter six is one of four powertrains that will be offered with the 2011 Ford F-150, a list that also includes a new truck-based application of the maker’s EcoBoost engine, a premium offering that is designed to pair both fuel economy and performance in one package.

But the V6 is the 2011 F-150’s mileage king, delivering 16 mpg on the EPA City cycle and 23 on the highway.  By comparison, the Chevrolet Silverado gets, at best 14/19 mpg with its current base engine, a 4.8-liter V8.  And while the Silverado Hybrid is rated at 21 City, it still delivers only 22 on the Highway cycle.

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Overall, Ford claims its new F-Series powertrain line-up is 20% more efficient than the engine offerings from the 2010 model-year, meeting what truck marketing manager Doug Scott calls, “the number one unmet need in the segment.”

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