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Report: Fuel economy standards could add up to $15K to price of heavy-duty pickups

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Report: Fuel economy standards could add up to $15K to price of heavy-duty pickups

by Jeremy Korzeniewski (RSS feed) on Sep 13th 2010 at 3:01PM

It's no secret that today's crop of full-size heavy duty pickup trucks cost a pretty penny to purchase and operate. To wit, the 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 Heavy Duty Mega Cab that we recently reviewed carried a sticker price of over $56,000. A large chunk of that asking price can be accounted for by the 6.7-liter Cummins diesel engine – largely responsible for the truck's massively impressive capabilities.

Of course, it's also going to cost quite a few Benjamins to keep that truck running on a steady diet of low-sulfur diesel fuel, and the Feds are considering some legislation that could potentially have a massive impact on both fuel consumption and the aforementioned bottom line... both positively and negatively, depending on your point of view. While we all want better fuel efficiency, we doubt many would be willing to front a staggering $15,000 surcharge on top of their already pricey work truck for the mileage benefits.

According to a new study by The National Academies, there are lots of ways to increase the fuel economy of a full-size HD pickup, some of which cost just a few hundred dollars. Others, such as adding a hybrid powertrain or switching from a gasoline-fed engine to a diesel, cost several thousand dollars each.

At present, truck manufacturers aren't required to meet any specific fuel mileage requirements. But that's soon to change, as the the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation are drafting up a series of regulations for these types of trucks. Exactly what those regulations will entail – and, of course, how much added price they will require to meet – isn't yet known. Stay tuned, and check out PickupTrucks.com for more data from the study.

link:

http://www.autoblog.com/2010/09/13/report-fuel-economy-standards-could-add-up-to-15k-to-price-of/

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We've got to get those bastards out of there. What an asinine, completely counterproductive, unAmerican notion.

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REPORT: HD TRUCK PRICING MAY INCREASE $15K FOR EPA STANDARDS

By Mark Kleis

According to a new comprehensive study considering the potential avenues of action to increase fuel economy and reduce emissions by medium-and heavy-duty trucks, possible changes could result in cost increases ranging from $10 to just shy of $15,000.

The study was completed by The National Academies: Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering and Medicine, and later analyzed by Pickuptrucks. This study was done in light of President Obama's request in May to include medium- and heavy-duty trucks in future fuel economy and emissions regulations, no longer limiting the regulations to traditional cars and light trucks.

To be clear, this does include trucks such as the Chevrolet Silverado 2500, Ram 2500 and Ford F-250. This marks the first time these trucks have been subject to the same standards as traditional passenger cars.

What the study evaluated

The point of the study was to actually determine what changes and/or technologies could be applied to medium- and heavy-duty trucks in order to increase fuel economy and reduce emissions. The primary solutions suggested by the study include: lower rolling resistance tires for a 2 percent improvement and a cost of $10, aerodynamic modifications (undercarriage) for a 3 percent improvement and a cost of $100, replacement of materials with lighter weight components for a .75 percent increase and a cost of $600, an eight-speed automatic transmission with reduced driveline friction for an increase of 7.5 percent to fuel economy and a cost of $1,000, a 5.8-liter turbocharged and downsized s-GDI engine for a 23 percent improvement and a cost of $4,000 and the use of a parallel hybrid system for an 18 percent increase and a cost of $9,000.

All said and told, the list of changes could theoretically improve fuel economy by 44.5 percent, with a cost of $14,710.

In response to these proposed changes, Charlie Territo, spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said to Pickuptrucks, "At the end of the day, what remains to be seen is whether or not consumers will be willing to pay those costs."

Territo went on to suggest that it must be considered if these costs will drive new truck pricing out of reach of many, forcing owners to hold onto their current trucks longer and/or postpone the purchase of new trucks with this added technology. If that is the case, Territo adds, "There is no benefit if these vehicles aren't on the road."

link:

http://www.leftlanenews.com/report-hd-truck-pricing-may-increase-15k-for-epa-standards.html

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We've got to get those bastards out of there. What an asinine, completely counterproductive, unAmerican notion.

we got to get the EPA out of this, and put pollution back into only the courts hands. the courts can only punish after the fact, a crime has been committed, or is ongoing. the EPA punishes before hand, more often than not.

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Yeah, that's what happens when automobile haters run the show.

Exactly correct. The sad thing is some people really need these trucks to their jobs, and another 15k on these already expensive vehicles is not a good idea. I vote for the moron green politicians to go take hike and get lost. Actually I wish we'd get some people in Washington with a brain and get rid of CAFE. Actually an HD truck is one of the few type of vehicles I might be interested in after all this CAFE bullish*t went through and now this...I am am banging my head over this but leave it to the "wise people" in D.C. to think of stuff like this. This country really is screwed.

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I will always believe the product mix should be dictated by customer demand. If an automaker has all bases covered sufficiently, they'll do fine as fuel prices fluctuate.

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You are far too trusting, my friend.

Our own government is our worst enemy.

It's not a government thing.... look at the numbers.

"a 5.8-liter turbocharged and downsized s-GDI engine for a 23 percent improvement and a cost of $4,000"

Adding a turbo-charger and direct injection simply doesn't cost $4,000 more. The Eco-boost V6 F-150 is about $1,500 more than the V8. I don't care if you like the technology or not... it's not a $4,000 price premium.

"a parallel hybrid system for an 18 percent increase and a cost of $9,000."

This didn't set off any red blinky lights in anyone's brains?

Is there a single hybrid out there, other than the absurdly priced GM two-modes, that is a $9,000 premium over an equivalent gas model? Usually the hybrids do cost more, but they are also optioned much better in other ways as well. To get a Ford Fusion 4-cylinder gas to have the same options as the Fusion Hybrid, you're still going to be spending about $27k v. the Hybrid's $31k. Lincoln will let you pick V6 or Hybrid-4 at no cost at all. $4,000 premium.... worst case.

They made up a bunch of inflated numbers (low rolling resistance tires aren't any more expensive than regular tires unless you're comparing them to Pepboy's crap) to come up with a number close to $15k just so they could ruffle your feathers enough into writing your congressman.... but they still just made $h! up.

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Oh it's government alright, it isn't the technologies, nor the specific costs involved that's the issue. It's the mandate via government through the ill-conceived CAFE scheme. In short, a bunch of pandering, interfering, politicians messing with things they do not understand, and causing great damage as a result.

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Fine... lets just up the petroleum gas tax till the tax is around $3.00 a gallon, give 100% of the funds to public transportation and let the market work it out that way.

Oh yes, and also allow counties to up their per gallon tax on top of the federal one as well.

This idea that we can all keep driving our V8's up until the day the last drop of oil is pumped out of the ground is absurd. The idea that you have to have a truck with 700 ft/lbs of torque to get any work done in the U.S. is simply insane.

I really don't care what you do for a living, the fact remains that better than 95% of the pickup trucks on the road today would serve their owners just fine with a turbo V6....

How do I know this? Because for the past 30 years folks have been driving pickup trucks with less horsepower and less torque than that engine provides and the country didn't come crumbling apart.

This engine power war we're in is simply wasteful. So you have to buy a 5.8 liter turbo-direct injected truck instead of an 8.1 litre..... wait here... I'll go get you a tissue.

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Say what you will, but terrible damage to the domestic industry will be the result of this if it happens.

I reject wholesale this notion that accepting less and paying more for it is a positive thing in any way. And trust me, I am not alone.

Note also, that this is about HD pickups not weekend warrior half tons. You know, the trucks that are the swiss army knife of countless small businesses. That impact alone should give the over-zealous lawmakers pause. HD pickups work for a living, something the government should try for a change.

One final aside: The horsepower (and more importantly torque) war is far from wasteful. The payload and towing capacity of HD trucks benefits fuel efficiency by reducing the number of loaded trips to accomplish a task dramatically vs. those old under-powered trucks we used to think were ok.

Edited by Camino LS6

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The trucks you are talking about are a vast minority of the market. It is more accurate to say that some HD trucks work for a living. A large amount are simply the vehicular equivalent of PrickMax male organ enhancement.

As for fewer trips... unless you're hauling cement, you'll run out of cargo volume before you'll run out of cargo weight capacity anymore.

You'll have a hard time convincing me that you absolutely need 700 ft/lbs of torque to yank around 10,000lbs when a Fleetwood Brougham could pull 7,000lbs with 340 fl/lbs and not break a sweat.

As for paying more and getting less.... you're not used to that already?

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As for fewer trips... unless you're hauling cement, you'll run out of cargo volume before you'll run out of cargo weight capacity anymore.

In smaller cars, yeah... but in big cars, vans or pickups... I usually run out of cargo weight first. Packed efficiently, wood, paper, steel or water get REAL heavy fast.

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And a 10,000lb cargo capacity will still get down the road with 400 ft/lbs instead of 700 ft/lbs.

If you're want to keep going with this argument, why not get a GMC Kodiak instead of Sierra? It's base payload rating is 11,000lbs and can go up to 21,000lbs.... that's about double the payload of the top of the line Sierra. And you can still drive it to the supermarket when you need to.... oh sorry, you couldn't actually get any work done because the 21,000lb rated model comes with only 660 ft/lbs of torque. The poor little 11,000lb rated Kodiak has just a mere 450 ft/lbs. To bad... so sad.... if only we had 250 more ft/lbs... we could have beat the Brits at Dunkirk... or something.

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In smaller cars, yeah... but in big cars, vans or pickups... I usually run out of cargo weight first. Packed efficiently, wood, paper, steel or water get REAL heavy fast.

Camino works in landscaping. Even my Avalanche 1500 could handle more wood weight than I could physically fit into it with the mid-gate down. I loaded a pallet of bricks into the back.. it sagged a bit, but it did fine.

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Camino works in landscaping. Even my Avalanche 1500 could handle more wood weight than I could physically fit into it with the mid-gate down. I loaded a pallet of bricks into the back.. it sagged a bit, but it did fine.

I am sure it did fine... I think the point some of us are trying to make is more power, more towing and more payload is better for both the world (less trips to haul things therefore burning less fuel because you can do more in a single load) and better for the consumer who saves more on gas. You said you Av sagged a bit well, I know guys who take '07-'10 6.0L L96 powered GM 2500 HD crew cab regular box 4WD trucks and tow 20,000 lbs behind them via a 5th wheel for farm work... Would I want one of those trucks after they trade them in 3 years? No, just because it can be done or the truck could handle doesn't mean people should try it. Then again I know people who use HD trucks as "show horses" but who cares, if they wanted a "big" truck why shouldn't they be allowed to drive one? It after all is them who is paying the fuel bill. The other thing we should do is tell Uncle Sam who writes the tax code that any vehicle purchased should be a tax write off for a business, and not just ones with a GVWR over 6,100 lbs (or whatever it currently is). That rule is pushing my nephew into a BOF fullsize SUV, most likely a Yukon Denali XL with-in the next year or two. Myself for the sure hell of it is even considering a new Sierra Denali HD as a vehicle option down the road!

Edited by gm4life

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They're already high priced enough, relatively speaking. Your argument smacks dead center of a man who has never needed a high-capacity pickup truck a day in his life. You have no authority to speak on this.

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