Green Car Reports Addresses Anti-Pickup Bias

2009-hybrid-chevy-truck IIRecently Green Car Reports received quite a bit of push back from its readership regarding a discussion of EPA fuel economy numbers for several full-size half-ton pickup trucks. It seems that a vocal minority of the green-driving guide's followers don't believe pickups should be discussed on a website with the tagline, "The ultimate guide to cleaner, greener driving."

Thankfully, Green Car Reports is taking the high road and admonishing their readers who believe that the full-size pickup market should not be addressed, going so far as to prove that increases in truck engine efficiency can far outweigh just about any improvement gains from the hybrid powertrain crowd.

Here's our favorite section from the article: "It strikes us there are some readers who simply resent the existence of full-size pickup trucks and wish they would go away. And that's simply not going to happen. Instead, they'll get more fuel-efficient — and we hope to be there, covering the topic for years to come."

There are some other interesting points made in the article as well, including the idea that the average hyper-miling enthusiast might feel a little inadequate when driving next to a full-size work truck and those insecurities might spill over into discussions of gas mileage. Also, we can forgive the author for suggesting Ford will sell as many as 650,000 F-150s this year. He probably meant the entire F-Series lineup, which is likely to be closer to 750,000 units. F-150 sales are likely to be closer to 425,000.

Comments

I read the "Green Car Reports' article and I must say Kudos to Green Car. It is nice to see an editorial staff that pays attention to what the readers are saying and sets the record straight.

This was a very interesting point that they made,
"(1) An improvement from 18 mpg to 22 mpg sounds insignificant--even though increasing fuel economy from 18 mpg to 22 mpg saves as much gasoline (1.01 gallons per 100 miles) as increasing a 33-mpg vehicle to 50 mpg (1 gallon per 100 miles)."

It makes sense to focus on MPG improvements on large pickups from a consumer and "green" point of view. It makes more sense when several of the Top 10 best sellers every year are full sized pickups.
USA:
#1 - F150
#2 - Silverado
#5 - Ram
Canada:
#1 - F Series
#2 - Ram
#6 - Sierra
#10 - Silverado

I'm going to post some nice comments over thier.

I see Mike Levine, sranger, and Dave have already started posting over there to educate them.

People that comment on green car are like this tard, and they wonder why truck people don't cut them no slack or even care to talk to green car people.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVdMySWfAIQ

johnny,
Good video. Thanks for posting.
I'm not sure how I would react in situation like this, but she would be pretty close to being turned into bio diesel for my truck.

It doesn't matter what the green weenies think. The vast majority of people still think for themselves and buy what works best for them.

That's exactly why pickup trucks are the best selling vehicles in America. Pickup trucks are the most useful, adaptable, flexible, all-around vehicles anyone can buy, especially if you can afford to buy only one vehicle.

Who cares about fuel economy? People don't buy a pickup truck for fuel economy! Anyone who worries about fuel economy can't afford to drive.

@Highdesertcat - we need to make proper choices and live with the consequences of those choices.
A few days ago it was pouring rain in my town. When I was a kid that sort of thing never happened in the middle of winter.

Im no greenie, but I have a problem with that to. Them guys that keep thier diesel running for no reason piss me off too. I don't want to listen or smell them either. They need to grow up. If I had one I wouldn't do that to any one. I probably would never own one, don't need one. My F-150 is all I need.

Don't forget the EPA has done more to run buisnisess out of the USA and into the waiting arms of countries that don't have any emissions standards at all! Then the "go green" folks buy the products made there because it was.75 cents cheaper. Common sense ain't so common these days

I farm for a living, so a pickup is not a luxury item for me, it's something I use to make a living. I agree that they need to be efficient, but some people have no common sense. To the Prius owners that put us down like the one in the video, I don't see them doing that to truck drivers that get 8-9mpg at best with a load. On top of that basically everything is trucked in to towns anyway, so people need to get a life.

it's kinda funny how all the " I don't need a big truck" crowd sure knows what the rest of us need! We use them to keep their lights on, food on their table, and trash out of their streets, to take their kids to school. But they are blind to that, we do so they can have that life. Ya,you are welcome

Nobody talks about in the U.S. alone there are 255 Million vehicles on the road and that increases 3.69 Million per year. Instead of one household owning one vehicle they now own 3. That's the reason why we are using more gasoline, can't be green owning more than one vehicle!
My pickup is my only vehicle that I use for commuting to work, pleasure and hauling and towing heavy loads. I have owned another fuel efficient car in the past but with the cost of ownership it was costing me more money.
Its stupid to spend $20K on a car that gets 40 MPG when you save $1500-$2000 a year on fuel costs, but that money you saved on fuel is gobbled up on the up-keep of that added vehicle, you need to buy tires, brakes, insurance and so on.
I am already being "Green" by only owning ONE vehicle !

I drive a pickup because I'm 6'8" Tall and just find them a lot more comfortable. It does make me feel good when I can put to work once in a while helping family members get stuff home from the Home Depot or moving.

I suppose if the Green crowd are 'forced' to read up on pickup truck advancement they will see inroads are being made in the FE department.

This will also highlight how diesels are probably the best option in many cases when looking at purchasing a new and larger vehicle.

Greenies will soon realise that historically, even when horses and buggies were around, buggies weren't as popular in the average home. Carts were very common. Why? The same reason commercial light vehicles are very common globally.

It's just in the US at the moment full size trucks reign. But like how the US went from carts and buggies to pickups and cars changes will occur.

As an owner of a large 4x4 ATV I am in amazement in the way its designed and engineered, its powerful enough to pull a 5000 lb vehicle out of a snow drift, can tow 950 lbs, powered by a small 750cc engine and is capable of high speeds but its geared low. The ball joints, CV axles, tie rods are bigger than most compact cars.
My question is why don't they make ATV's and UTV's street legal? I know why! They can never pass the safety standards that passenger cars have to meet. UTV's have dump beds, and even a back seats and a full cab with heater, , just install DOT tires and turn signals and its a street legal mini pickup that's super efficient on gas.

Extremism is bad whether it be hating all pickup trucks to only the biggest most powerful trucks should be on the road. Every vehicle has a purpose and everyone should choose what vehicle meets their purpose the best. I myself prefer a midsize pickup but I do not want to tell others what to drive. After riding in two BMWs over Christmas I could not wait to get home and drive my truck where I have plenty of leg and head room and I don't have to me a contortionist to get in and out of. My trucks also ride much better, but then I don't need or want a sports car and I do not wish to deny anyone the right to own a sports car.

I get asked why I own a pickup truck by those who own BMWs and Priuses. Those same people want to borrow my truck when they need to pickup an over sized item. I use my truck and I like to have the versatility to haul an item that will not fit in a crossover or car. I respect others choices in a vehicle and I expect them to respect my choice.

Those of us in the western states, that is everything west of the Mississippi river drive pickups by need, of course city folks don't understand that.

I'll agree with you, Jeff S. Even midsize trucks have a purpose--as do compacts.

@highdesertcat: who cares about fuel economy and drives a truck? Lots of us, we just don't have expectations our trucks will get small car mid size car mileage numbers. Would you rather put $90-100 in that tank, or do the same job at the same speed and put in 80-90$?

As for Prius', there is a place for them, my step ma has one she drives when she is not hauling horses with her 98 Ram 1500.

@Tom: I have several cars/trucks, how car that be less green then you when I can only drive one at a time?

I drive a car that gets decent mileage when I don't need a truck, if I drove my truck everywhere, the extra maintanance cost of a truck would be so much higher. True it is two insurance payments and more taxes, I still come out ahead.

Depends on how much you drive, for me buying a second fuel efficiant car would cost me more money. I just can't see if saving most people money unless they drive maybe 20K a year or more. You have to maintain it, insure it, pay for it, and it still uses gas just not as much.

Tom makes a good point. We could easily have more efficient vehicles--if safety standards were reduced. I am 100% ok with this as long as it is disclosed. I ride a motorcycle as much as I can and try to mainly use my pickup when I need to haul/tow something. I am fully aware of the "dangers" of riding a motorcycle. But I love the feel, speed, MPG, and cheap insurance. Granted, that may not work for some, but as noted, modified UTV or Kei type cars would make a lot of sense for folks that live in the city or don't need to travel too far.

I don't get on here to often but i like the idea of making the UTV street legal got my attention . some of the UTV will do 60 mph. By the way i own and drive a fullsize 4dr Sierra when i need to and i drive 4x4 Mule to do work on my ranch filling deer feeders ,but would like drive it to town when i need small items.

Guys, I don't share all the hype about global warming because mother nature will do whatever it wants with the weather and has been doing so since time immemorial.

All through Geologic time we've seen ice age followed by milder climes and back again, about every ten thousand years or so. El Nino, La Nina, storms, floods, etc. Nothing we could do about it, except endure.

Anyone who believes that CO2 gasses are out of whack now should go out and plant a bunch of trees. And be sure to tell Asia, Africa and South America that they need to clean up their act.

I just heard today on the WSJ Editorial Report that oil production in America is at an all-time high and that within the next few months America will become a net exporter of refined oil products, including gasoline and diesel. This in spite of the EPA fighting the industry tooth and nail.

Pickup trucks were enormously helpful in getting us to this point, and they did it without the squirrelly engines that the greenweenies want us all to use.

Anyone who chooses to drive one of these sissyfied wannabe pickup trucks needs to get their head examined. That's not what pickup trucks are all about.

TRX 4 Tom, I've never cared about the cost of gasoline because I am addicted to it. I'll pay whatever it costs to get it and cut back on other things like eating out, Starbucks and Moolattes.

Ironically enough, when gas was $5/gal I didn't notice any reduction in traffic on the roads. People kept buying the stuff.

My point is that if people have to worry about the cost of fuel they ought not to buy a truck. They should buy an econobox and borrow or rent a truck for when they need it.

I rent an 18-wheeler tractor/trailer from Ryder for when I need really big transportation. I don't buy one for use as my daily driver.

A pickup truck is a versatile all-purpose tool! If people choose to buy one they should suck it up when it comes to the additional expenses that go along with ownership. Not force the rest of us into make-believe pickup trucks with squirrelly little engines.

I'm an avid reader of green car reports and I also drive pickups (plural) as a need.

I have said many times in the past that I refuse to buy another truck until they do something about alternative fuel or drastically improved (33+ highway). So I'm voting with my business's wallet.

The MPG of all pickups in this country are unacceptable in this day and age. This is the only continent where full size trucks are common. Makes you wonder how other advanced economies are managing with smaller trucks. There are a lot of people driving trucks who don't need them but just like them. That's fine by me. The technology exists to make them run on something more sustainable and at the very least give them better MPG. But instead the auto cartels just keep making them bigger and bigger and bigger to win the ad wars. Even though a lot of people in here won't buy the unless it's the biggest, meanest, noisiest, smelliest one they can buy, the cartels are pretty good at force feeding us what we drive so it's their responsibility to start winding down these bad habits and give us something more sensible.

@highdesertcat

Seems kinda crazy to me that you don't care about the cost of gasoline. You're comment seems incredibly unintelligent.

Personally I'm glad pickups are getting more efficient. I don't like to waste money.

If there is pressure from "greens" or truck buyers themselves, trucks will become more efficient. We are already seeing improvements.

@johnnie Doe - for every youtube video of a "green" ragging on pickups you will find 100 youtube video's of guys rolling coal or doing burnouts, or other stupid stuff.

I'm not a green and I do see it as a waste for someone to own a 1/2 ton or HD just to haul air in the box. I also see it as a waste for someone to own a performance machine but never attends a track day.

Each to there own but one must be aware of how our words and actions affect how people view truck owners.

I personally don't think HDC's comment is unintelligible. I'm kind of in the same boat. I made my choice of engine in my F150 on want not need and see nothing wrong with that. I opted for the 5.0 based on sound. This is my 4th truck but first V8 and I set my mind on it, no V6 for any reason. That choice meant spending more on fuel and I don't care, but care enough where I draw the line at the 6.2 because I don't need that big of V8 just want the sound. Would I like to pay less on fuel? Of course. But don't care if I pay more then I would with the 3.7 v6 or ecoboost. Sound is worth the difference in price to me. But Im in Alberta and have the Alberta mentality where everyone needs a truck. How are you gonna get down the trails, get the deer home and comfortably get through all this damn snow (around 2ft high in my front yard) and since everyone else has a truck out here might aswell spend money and modify it and try to make it look different then the next guy. That's the Alberta mentality and why we have full size trucks with lifts, exhausts and 35's everywhere. So my opinion might be biased.

Definetly misinterpreted that one. No one thinks a vehicle will improve skill at anything. Don't know how you figured that from the comment. It was simply to convey how the mentality where i am is opposite green thinking and how that may have made my opinion of relating to Hdc's comment biased.

Comment by BAF0: "This is evident with the fan bois and the V8 only hillbillies."

@BAF0 - Anything that weighs over 4,500 lbs and expected to tow nearly as much, would benefit from a V8. You don't have to be a "fan boi" or "hillbilly" to realize that. Simple commonsense will do.

A turbo'd V6 or diesel could do the same as a V8, but why not use the best tool for the job? The modern V8 is simple, robust and fuel efficient. A V8 would be barely revving, motivating a 4X4 crew cab, mid-size truck (up to 5,000 lbs with passengers and gear). Let alone towing a trailer too.

I'm at a point where I'll never buy anything with less than a V8. New car, new truck, anything. Perhaps HDC feels the same. I'm done with the rest. Nothing else has proven itself as tough, reliable and with more than reasonable mpg, as the modern V8. And I'm done dealing with midsizers that now have the mass of previous generation's full-size trucks, but not the proper drivetrains. Those are still cheesy and too weak for today's heavy A$$ mid-size trucks. I mean for the long run and decent mpg.

Besides, half of the SPM drive full-size V8 trucks anyways. That's "Vulpine" and "Lou_BC". Are they fan bois or hillbillies? The founding member of the SPM hardly has access to them in the land down undah, or he'd own one too.

Yeah, drive what you want is right. I know what works for me, and that's all I need to know.

DenverMike, the Ford Ecoboost is proven and has won nearly every towing test out there, and a V6 Diesel will blow away a gas V8. I'll probably stick with the V8 for the price and simplicity, but I'm not brainwashed into thinking its the best.

@Denver Mike--I will not revert to name calling like you have, you are entitled to drive whatever you like and not have to answer to anyone for it. You seem to dislike midsize trucks intensely and that is your choice. Telling me or others that we should get a compact car and rent a bigger truck when we need one when we need one does not work for me. I use the beds of my trucks on a weekly basis and would go broke renting a truck. Big Al never said that you should not have a choice of a V-8 in a bigger truck, he said that many that think they need it really don't. Your attitude is to the extreme just as the anti truck attitude is. Most of us are not extremist and are some where in the middle. Most people are turned off to the extreme greenies and to the extreme truck owners who think bigger is better not because of what they own but because of their extreme attitudes and because many of those extremist want to shove their opinions and choices down others throats. If we believe in America and freedom then we believe in freedom of choice and the freedom to not be criticized for our choices. Sometimes it is better to live and let live. Don't waste the time and energy to bash others but use your energy and efforts to more constructive endeavors.

I made this point to the automotive writer on a major news website that is three letters, starts with "C" and ends with "N." He criticized the Silverado Hybrid because of its mileage. I pointed out that it was a 20% improvement over the non-hybrid with no loss in functionality, and that if a majority of Silverados sold were hybrid-equipped the overall gasoline savings would be immense. Glad that the folks over at GreenCarReports have a brain.

Asking truck buyers to drive demand for better fuel economy is like asking large industrial polluters to voluntarily stop polluting. They just aren't gonna.

That's where the big evil government regulation is supposed to step in. Unfortunately our government is extremely corrupt.

Yeh, go ahead and load up that load of lumber in your Prius. Help your brother-in-law move by loading his furniture in that Prius.

@DenverMike: "I don't know why they're fighting it. They should be demanding a modern V8 in everything over 4,000 lbs. Common frick'n sense. The green weenies know nothing about nothing. Keep it simple, stup!d..."

Why are they fighting it? Because a V8 is not NEEDED in anything under 6,000 pounds; today's V6 puts out more power than the V8 that performed perfectly well 25 years ago. Note I'm not saying you can't have a V8 if you want it, but for those who don't WANT it should have the ready option to use the engine of their choice.

The same holds true for size. Why should I be forced to drive something grossly too large for my purposes just because YOU feel it's the only usable size? You want big? You can have it. Honestly, this is one place where I agree with OXI about his Tacoma; it's a better fit for my purposes as far as SIZE is concerned. What I didn't agree with him on is that I know a Taco isn't "just as good as a full-size"; but for his and my purposes it may be BETTER than full size for a multitude of reasons that you choose to belittle or ignore. In other words, bigger is not *always* better.

Again, you want bigger? You want V8? Fine--take them. I'd rather have smaller with a good V6 and I could get by with a decent I4 with stick. Give me 200 horses and I'm quite happy. That's what my V8 has now; that's what 4 different V6s have given me and two different I-4s have given me 175 horses with no issues. 200 horses meets my needs and my wants. You want to double or triple that--go ahead. Just don't expect me to want the same things you do and don't try to tell me what I should drive.

@hemi lol
I have found absolutely no evidence in what you said. I have trolled the internet and found that idling wastes fuel and does more internal damage than starting and stopping the engine. That might have been true for older diesels, but modern ones its better to shut them off.

Correct Jim, Idling wastes way more fuel then turning the car/truck on or off. Look at all the cars with stop start on them, obviously automakers can eek out more MPG on the vehicles that have it and its not different on a Semi truck. Most Semi's burn about a gallon of Diesel and hour just to idle.

Disclosure: I am a hypermiler/ my car =2010 Prius ( HyperDrive One on Cleanmpg.com) but I donot consider myself bias against pickup trucks. Comment: At least in the DC Metro Area, pickup drivers tend to be more carefully on the road - because many are commerical vehicles... Hypermiling = 1/3 vehicle + 1/3 driving environment + 1/3 driver. The most important factor is driver skill. The second most important factor is driving environment/planning. The stereotype/myth that most fall for is that you can only hypermile a hybrid. A Hybrid makes it easier to hypermile and it can get some really fantastic fuel efficiency results but a skilled hypermiler can also get better fuel efficiency from a conventional pickup as well. Switch to a hybrid/diesel pickup with stop start idle tech and 6 speed transmission and things get even very interesting and much easier.

hypermiling tricks for trucks: increase tire inflation to max psi, driver at a lower speed, drive at night (not during rush hour) or when the roads are empty and pick a route where you don't have to stop or can time yourself to the traffic lights. If you drive on hilly terrain, synch your acceleration to the downhill segments and allow your truck to slow down slightly as it goes uphill. Cover up the back of your bed with a cover (tonneau) to make your truck more aerodynamic, install rear wheel well skirts to make the body more aerodynamic. Remove excess weight from the rear if you don't need the traction on the rear wheels. ...accelerate gently and coast to a stop rather than gun your engines to the red light when in traffic. Drive in warm dry weather. Pick a route with smooth dry surfaces...

Don't like to hyper mile, I like to have fun driving and pushing down on the go pedal is more fun. I do coast to stop lights though especially if I can see I will have to stop at a light ahead no reason to gun it only to slam on the brakes.

@WalterLee - I find that a "hypermiler" approach to driving was fairly easy for me to adopt. The reason is that hypermiling techniques are for the most part very similar to driving in very icy poor road conditions. I slow down well in advance of stale green lights or red lights, I don't stop on up-hills, I accelerate more cautiously, I try to build momentum for climbing hills and allow for some drop in speed.
If I go on a long trip at highway speeds, I stay around the speed limit which is 100kph (60 mph). I use 4x4 only when I really need it. I gain 10-15% better mpg by driving that way. I'd rather be more careful in my driving and have that extra cash to put fuel in my truck for taking my kids fishing.

Most people are not willing to adjust their driving habits. The desire for big V8's and trucks bigger than what they really need often stems from the fact that most people do not see beyond the hood ornament when they drive. The mash the pedal to the floor mentality is every where. It becomes readily apparent the first snowfall or first episode of icy road conditions. There are always multiple car crashed all because of the "don't pay attention", "foot meets floor", I will compensate for conditions in my bigger is safer 4x4 vehicle".

My F-150 has a little Eco Badge on the front door so people know I am a Green Person.

I don't give a bloody Hoot what the Green eyed idiots think about me & my truck! LOL The last time I checked this was America!

CDN Dodge Ram owner, must be nice to have that kind of money to have at least ten cars to drive at one time.

A lot of these are old arguments of "my idea is better than your idea"......just because....well that doesn't do anyone any good.

I like the idea of a truck gaining 4mpg overall since that is more meaningful than a Prius going from 50-55 mpg. Most of the public isn't math savvy enough to figure that out though. I like seeing the improvements in the 18 wheelers since they use a signigicant amount of the diesel in this country. It only makes sense to grab low hanging fruit.

That said I am excited to see what Ford can do in the 2015 F-150 that will be unveiled soon. Is it going to be earth shattering change, no but it will be an improvement and force other automakers to engineer better trucks. That goes back to the good old capitalism route of more choice for the consumer and with more engineering there are more high skill level jobs being utilized. Win-win.

I do consider myself to be quite "green" and I also own a pickup and a prius. Both serve their purposes. I also grow a decent amount of my own food, compost, recycle, promote efficiency, etc. Am I the greenest person out there? No. Am I holier than thou. No. Do people derserve to have options that suit their needs, yes. Should we as a society demand gradual improvement in the quality of our vehicles, yes. That includes better fuel economy which appears to be coming in the near future which is fantastic in my book.

@Lou BC--Driving like you described is just being smart. Accelerate gently and take your foot off the accelerator if you see the light turning red and coast before applying brakes. Not only do those driving methods save gas but they save maintenance on your vehicle and make it last longer. Whether you drive a V-8 crewcab 4 wheel drive pickup or a Prius it is just common sense. I have a nephew that works for a BMW dealership in N CA but he drives like a maniac. We can learn something from the hypermilers. We are never too old or too smart to learn and if someone has a smarter way of doing things then I want to hear what they have to say.

@howam00 - I don't see myself as "green" but I do see myself as trying to conserve and reduce my impact on the environment around me. I recycle, and stuff that can be composted I turn in to the local compost program. When I am in the back country I try to minimize the mess I make. It is just sound judgement.

@DenverMike - why do you try to create strife in a discussion that wasn't about big trucks versus small trucks?
you can buy all of the big V8's you want since we live in a free country (as free as the political masters and 0.1 percenters allow).

One of the biggest things that will kill V8's is the fact that smaller turbo engines can generate better MPG and emissions numbers while being tested. We've seen in the real world that the EB 3.5 is sensitive to how it is driven and in the hands of most, gets the same mpg as a bigger normally aspirated V8.
BUT - it generates better test numbers and that is what politicians, greens, and bean counters want.
Freedom of choice goes out the window when all the "experts" decide what is better for you.

Stir up trouble all you want with those bright enough to see the way things are going. I don't recall mentioning small trucks as ever being superior in every way shape or form than a full-sizer.

The trend for the most part has been to smaller engines. Back in the day we saw 460, 454, 429, 428, 427, 426, 396, 390 etc. all were in the 6.4 to 7.5 litre range. There were even some bigger stuff like the 8.1 litre ( 494 ci ).
The biggest engine on the block in a pickup is the Ram 6.4. We have a few 6.2's but at the end of the day they are all small block designs (or close to it).

You feel threatened by anything that does not fit your ideology.
You favour BIG (fullsized) Domestic (READ... Made in the USA), V8 powered trucks and ANYTHING that protects them.

That sums up your constant attacks on smaller trucks, you have the underlying belief that:
- there is the potential that smaller trucks threaten big trucks.
- Buyers favouring small trucks threatens big trucks.
- Small diesels threaten V8's.
- Turbo V6's threaten V8's.
- Foreign trucks threaten USA ones.
- Imports threaten USA companies.
- Accepting that the chicken tax is effective at protecting large trucks would mean accepting that they were/are vulnerable.

Admit it and move on.

Life is too short, buy what you want and to heck what anyone else thinks about your decision. Remember is all about you and being happy.



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