Finally! An automaker has found a way to make pickup trucks more fuel efficient without giving up power or performance.
And it’s about damn time.
A couple of years ago I wrote a several part series about why pickup trucks are the sole reason hybrids are doomed in the south on Greenopia.com.
And I feel like that is still true.
3 years ago GM came out with a hybrid version of the GMC Sierra. Not only was it not a good truck — at all — but its fuel economy was also rated at a meager 17 city and 19 highway.
Nice try, but an epic FAIL.
But this year Ford finally got the pickup truck right, from a green perspective. I’ve already talked about how the the blue oval’s fleet was one of the most impressive overall showcases at this year’s NAIAS, but putting their new EcoBoost engine in the F-150 is just brilliant.
I could go into a long dissertation about the mechanics of the engine, but why do that when I was able to get some face time and video with Raj Sarkar of Ford’s truck division at NAIAS on Monday.
He explains more about the Ford EcoBoost V6 engine in 1 minute than I could in about 1,000 words. Check it out:
The new F-150 with the 3.5L EcoBoost engine is rated at 22mpg on the highway. But it gets that gas mileage while also cranking out 365 horses at 5000rpm and 420 lb-ft of torque at 2500rpm.
Just in case you didn’t know, that means this EcoBoost engine puts out more horsepower and higher torque than Ford’s 5.0L V8.
The Eco-Snob Question
I asked Raj if Ford had received any backlash from eco-snobs complaining that the 15-20% increase in fuel economy was still too little. In not so many words, he said that they had.
But you know what I’m going to say about that, don’t you? This is Eco-Snobbery Sucks isn’t it?
A 15% increase in fuel economy may be a small increase on a truck by truck basis, but a good step in the right direction nonetheless. Take into consideration the fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emission reduction that new EcoBoost F-150 drivers across America will generate collectively and it’s not so small of a step at all.
My hat is off to you Ford. Keep it comin’.
[Photo: Lost In A Super Market]