EPA Wants 'Game Changing' Hybrid Technologies in Future Pickups

New 2017-2025 Fuel Economy Standards Will Be Tough on Trucks

By Dave Lee

The federal government wants pickup truck manufacturers to introduce “game changing” technologies that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including hybrid technology, according to a proposal from the EPA. And it wants to see it happen soon.

Under the proposal, manufacturers could get per-vehicle credits toward their corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) if they use "significant quantities" of hybrid technology on full-size pickups, starting in 2017.

What's surprising is how fast the government wants to act. To be eligible for the credits, a truck manufacturer must use the technology on a minimum percentage of its full-size pickup production — 30 percent in 2017 and rising to at least 80 percent in 2021 for what the EPA calls "a mild HEV pickup truck." Given that the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid and the GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid make up a small portion of pickup truck sales right now, it's hard to imagine similar vehicles would make up 30 percent of a fleet in six years, let alone 80 percent in 10 years.

Stop/start systems, regenerative braking, minimum battery voltage value and minimum energy storage capacity were among the technologies outlined in the proposal. The proposal also mentions that the government intends to offer a performance-based incentive credit for full-size pickups that significantly reduce emission below the CAFE target.

The proposal is part of an effort by the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to reduce fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions for the 2017-25 model years. The agencies want set up a national program to cut greenhouse gases by 2 billion metric tons and save about 4 billion barrels over the course of those models. President Barack Obama already announced tough new fuel-economy standards that will increase the corporate average fuel economy in the U.S. to 54.5 mpg for cars and light trucks built between 2017 and 2025.

The proposal is expected to be formally issued by the end of next month, and a formal ruling is expected by July 31, 2012.


It says Toyota announces six new Hybrid models added to the lineup for the 2012 model year.

mowart: it is only good if I wanted to sell my house, NOT try to keep it's roof over my head!! And I have served, do you? I guess it's ok if the government taxes me out of my house? Get real Idiot

mowart - Perhaps you are overlooking that we were stuck raising the debt ceiling because the government spent all our real money? How about actually cutting spending to actually pay off our debt? In your household to you pay off credit cards with other credit cards then ask the card companies to increase your limits so you can keep paying the cards off with each other? They were raising the debt ceiling to spend more money that we don't have.

Guys, can I ask a favor and that you at least get my user name right when responding? I don't murder your name please don't do that with mine.

Real Estate values have always gone up over time (sometimes it has taken a decade) and I don't really see to many people complaining about the increase in value. (I have seen in places like Sun Valley and Jackson Hole though) It generally means that the economy is doing well and people have the disposable income to buy newer homes. That is generally regarded as good. I am sorry if earning value on your house is upsetting. I'll trade you straight across for mine that has declined by about 30% ( I didn’t buy near the peak either, those that did around here are typically down a good 50-60%)

If the government is taxing you out of your home then you have a beef with the local county assessor not the Fed's. I also have to assume that you haven't gotten a raise either to help cover the cost of normal inflation. I and probably 100,000,000 other people in the US are in that same boat with you and I don't think that is really going to change any time soon.

@ Keith

Paying the credit card bill with other credit cards is likely what kept the economy booming in the mid to late 90's and mid 2000's. Our economy is designed to flourish when people spend beyond their means and end up as net borrowers. We were around 104% of our gross incomes in spending during the boom times. We are about 96-97% spenders now and that means our economy is slow. People saving money hurts us in the short term (the economy you and I live with each day) and helps in the long term (people can afford to live without sole reliance on programs like SS, welfare, etc)

I guess it is a little bit of pick your poison because you aren't going to get both at the same time.

Getting back on topic of this article, I'd like to see a 2012-2013 Tacoma using some kind of hybrid system. Toyota has a solid system down and they have stated they'd like to expand it. I hope it is more of a strong hybrid using a V-6 versus the 4 cylinder so it can actually be used to tow/haul. They have the tech from Lexus so I know they can do this. Maybe we'll get a useable truck that can get about 23 city and 23 highway. I'd be down for that so long as the price is acceptable.

@Bob- not quite an apples comparison. The Hybrid has more equipment on it than even the XLT. that makes the price gap smaller, and you can't get 3 dollar gas. Project a $4 gallon of gas and a smaller differential, suddenlyu the pay-off comes much sooner. Based on the numbers from the last HD shoot-out, you can say that Diesels don't pay off either, if you can do the job with a gasser.
@RobertRyan- The Barra 6 would have been sweet in the F150. unfortunately Ford did not specify the Falcon to be LHD compatible, leaving only the D3 platform.


Toyota just announced that they will build an all electric RAV-4 starting in 2012 at their Ontario, Canada plant and their partner Tesla Motors will supply the electric chassis from California!


"In addition to expanding the Prius family with the upcoming Prius v and Prius Plug-in Hybrid, the company will also introduce an electric version of the Scion iQ in 2012 and a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle by 2015."

Even a Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle is coming!

@ Bob

I know you have a beef with Ford but let’s try and compare apples to apples. As far as Ford's site they list the 2012 Escape hybrid at $30,570 (http://www.ford.com/suvs/escape/trim/?trim=hybrid) This model has many more options than just the base Escape just like the GM 2-mode systems and I know you'd be pissed if I tried the same kind of comparison with the GM vehicles. The Escape with as close of options as I can possibly build it is at $25,890 for the XLT (not base model)

Here is the side by side comparison so you can see what I added to the base model and XLT http://www.ford.com/suvs/escape/compare-models/?models=hybrid|xls#categoryInterior_Features


The price difference is only $4,680 not $8,830 and with fuel at $3.60 (just about what it is here in Idaho) the difference using your scenario of 100,000 miles before resale would be 1123 gallons of fuel at $3.60 is $4,403 saved or only $277 in costs not saved by the fuel. Based on recent trends the resale is higher on higher mpg vehicles so I'd make the assumption that the hybrid will fully make up the initial cost and likely be ahead by a good $1000-1500 by the end of it all because of the increased resale. This also uses Ford's version 1.5 of hybrid tech (the new Fusion is v2.0) and I assume that the next Gen Escape/Kuga will use either v2.5 or 3.0 and the mileage and costs will both be much better than this generation.

I also expect GM's next gen 2-mode that should be out in 2-3 years will also be much improved and likely most improved on the cost side and capabilities with similar overall power to this generation.

Oxi: I have been seeing a 1st gen rav-4 around where I live no for a # of yrs. it is all plug-in elec. I can't get much info on it because the only person driving it is the owner's au-pare? and she knows nothing about it other than she has to plug it in every time she uses it and it will go about 40 miles till it dies, no ac, very little heat. All together not bad, no problems for yrs. but I havent seen it this season. mhowart: yea I even built my house myself to so I could afford it, I guess I was lucky because of location location location, but taxes are taxes,no mater were or who you pay them too, it all adds up and I am Taxed Enough Aready, and we are not nut jobs, thats just fear from anybody who can't realy take change, and they are the open minded ones? I live on an Island

Thank God some companies (Toyota) have been racing hybrids and electric vehicles for years now and made history for a hybrid winning a 24-hour race a few years back!

So just think how far advanced Toyota is right now. I remember the Prius back in the mid to late 1990's at the Chicago Auto Show for it's debut!



"the race car features two distinctive hybrid technologies. Two 10 kW motors mounted in-wheel at the front and another 150 kW unit at the rear axle provide regenerative braking from all four wheels, allowing the vehicle to more efficiently capture energy during high-speed braking. Another innovation is a switch from batteries to capacitors, which are better suited to the rapid charging and discharging that accompanies a race’s repeated acceleration changes."


While we sit around with Nascar, some companies are racing the future!

@mhowarth - good point about the economic "boom". Western "good times" were funded by credit. Real economic growth would of been non-existent or stagnant if one removed borrowed money from the equation.
One expert made the comment that recessions are when we pay for the good times.
I'm all for improved fuel economy, but Government is like comedy - its all about timing. (or maybe government is comedy? but no one is laughing)
Releasing all the rules when the economy is struggling, and the USA government is going further into debt is just fueling people's fears even further. It worries the rest of the world too.

Oxi; don't let what I just wrote go to you head, and NASCAR is the largest spectator sport in the world! nothing even comes close, only rock concerts, and never mind the $$$ involved, it's like racing history-history racing! and nobody "sits" around, but it can be boring on tv. If that little co. in California called Tesler had the same power and $$ as toyota you would see some realy amazing American cars, what they even make now is amazingly cool, there is someone I met out here that has one of there roadsters, and let me tell you!! it is quicker than most cars I have driven, and some motorcycles too! he can drive it around the Island all day long, no problem (110miles) or so, go home plug it in, it costs about $3.50 he figures to charge it!! I have hear a rumore that toyota had bought some of the stock in that co? havre you heard anything?


NASCAR is not the biggest. Soccer (football everywhere else) is much bigger as is F1 racing, cricket, tennis.


It may not list dollars but in terms of audience these other sports are much bigger. NASCAR and our Football are uniquely American things, they aren't so popular around the world.

I too have driven a Tesla Roadster and while it has its drawbacks (chassis not designed to have all that extra weight) it is an incredible machine. Tesla got roughly $100 million from Toyota fro the Rav-4 platform and another $1 billion for "other developments" Daimler (Mercedes-Benz) also bought in about 5-8% of the company for some amount around that same $100 million mark about a year ago. I think you are going to see Tesla start to build a lot of really good products over the next 3-5 years that will help them grow. They’ll still be niche players for the medium term future (10-20 years) but they will be their own force in the automotive landscape. They supposedly have their 2 or 3 speed gearbox for the electric motors nearly finished and will likely debut on the net gen Roadster here in the next couple of years. That alone is going to eliminate many of the "fears" of the range and acceleration.

I certainly can't afford any of their vehicles yet but I can't wait to try the new Model S that will be rolling our here in the next few months.

mhowarth: thanks for the info, I was asking Oxi,but thanks anyway. But what I said was NASCAR IS the biggest SPECTATOR sport, that means more people attend the races than anything else, except Rock concerts or such, that means over 200,000 spectators in the stands, you could not build a soccer stadium big enough!, and at Daytona the crowds get as big as 500,000!, the stands they build at the tracks are hugh! some of them are over a mile long! on the bigger tracks, (Talladaga, Daytona, LasVegas, I don't know them all, this is fact! I beleave it is stated in the record books as such.F-1 racing doesn't even come close, I may be wrong but don't they race on roads? with spectators standing in desegnated spots? What you are refuring to is WHATCHED sports, but that my not be right either, NASCAR is on tv also, the only reason racing may not be overall bigger with tv is because you have many many more games per week than NASCAR, but I still stand by what I said as stated.

I know some of the bigger circuts around the world for F1 can be just as large as NASCAR (100-250k people at the actual venue) but I just can't seem to find details on the actual total seating capacity with a quick Google search. the new track being build in Austin Texas should hold about 100k (per wikipedia)

Do companies race to improve the breed or race to improve the image of the breed?

Right now, I'd have to say that racing hybrids is more of the latter.

(Just a point of interest)
There is nothing "stock" about a stock car. (Well - the roof line is).Funny thing is - current car or truck engines are considerably more sophisticated than the engines used in NASCAR. Compare an EB 3.5 to a 1960's derived NASCAR pushrod V8.
Time for a rule change?

Another reason to race - improve your corporate image.
Toyota had to build a separate engine for NASCAR. I don't recall any pushrod, carbureted V8's in any Toyota, Scion, Lexus, or Hino product.


Uhhh, Formula-1 has a bigger fan base that ACTUALLY spreads around the world!

Not too long ago, the highest paid athlete was Michael Schumacher, a Ferrari F-1 driver!

Nascar is great at going around circles but REAL racers run road and street circuits on pavement and off-road with rally and Baja racing!

It takes more talent to drive on a road/street circuit than it does a banked oval!

Nascar is more of a show than actual development!


Are you trying to dis-credit the Supra Hybrid road racing car?

That machine is pure research and development! Toyota perfected it and now they win races with it but the technology and knowledge they are learning from programs like this go far beyond what is on paper!

These races prove the design, engineering, fabrication and product!

Toyota is light years ahead of most when it comes to this technology thus why they have race vehicles when the competition can barely even make their own!

You know nothing about racing and the benefits racing has improved the vehicles we drive day in and day out!


What is remarkable about TRD building their pushrod engine was how fast they designed one and built it! It takes years of development for the other manufacturers to design and build one yet Toyota did one in a matter of weeks and qualifyed all of their Tundra trucks in their very first race and by lap 7 was leading the Daytona race!

Toyota still dominates the truck series and what used to be the Busch series winning the manufacturers titles the last few years and came in a tight 2nd last year in cup!

And how long have the others been doing this yet Toyota comes in and really, they are a force in such a short time frame!

Shows you how old-school Nascar is and how easy it is to compete as a manufacturer! Now when can we see a U.S. engine in Forumla-1?

@oxi - you are hillarious. I was NOT trying to discredit Toyota. your rants cover that aea very well, thank you very much.
My comment was, and is valid.
Companies race to develope technology.
Companies race to make their products look better.
F150 EB 3.5 for example.
Companies race for corporate image.
Why else would Toyota race in NASCAR?

It was easy for Toyota to build a NASCAR engine.
Big deal.
Rules say you basically have to use what amounts to a 351 Cleveland.
How hard is that to build?
They've been around for 40 odd years.
Toyota engineers complained because they felt that having to build a NASCAR engine was like having to build a better dinosaur.

@ Oxi. To be a good NASCAR driver you have to be exceptional at the skills required. Goes for any sport. Every fan of their particular sport , thinks their heroes skills will instantly transfer to similar but different discipline. that generally does not happen. The really exceptional athlete(I include drivers in that category) that can do that ,is pretty rare.
NASCAR requires "honing" of the old technology they use. Teams outside the track use cutting edge technologies(expertise of F1 Teams and personnel)) to get these fairly basic racing vehicles to perform at their best. That is why the teams spend millions to get a slight edge.

@ Oxi

to be fair Toyota did drop out of F1 because they were completely unable to compete with Mercedes-McLaren (it was these two combined at the time) Red Bull and Ferrari. I think they spent over $200 million on the motor alone (about 25-40% more than other teams) and they were not able to get on the podium let alone win races. That said many teams and companies have tried over the years and few can stay in the game for long. Honda had a good team back in the Senna days but they obviously moved their focus to CART/IRL

Only Ferrari has been around since the beginning (well obviously not the French Grad Prix's dating back to the 1800's but for all of F1)

My point was not on talent only #'s of spectators, and I am right on point, and NASCAR does at lest one race a yr. on a road course, I belive it was Watkins Glenn this yr. in a racer with a live rear axcel, and carburated pushrod engine, that happens to have the same times as racers with (superior technology)? they must be more of a hand-full to, you can an they have, put a NASCAR driver in a modern racer, and they do as good, or better than there modern contemporaries, but put Mr. Schumacher in a Grand National and Oxi would run better times in any probability! I am not a huge NASCAR fan, and I do belive that the cars are something out of the 60's but give the credit where it is deserved. Oh and TDR did not just come up with an engine in just a couple of weeks, they did what the Japanese are great at nay masters at, reverse enginering and copying! all the specs inside there engine has the better points of the Ford, Chevy, Dodge engines, The Chevy short stoke big bore, and port designs, the ford crankshaft with distributor in the front, and the Dodge camshaft higher in the block so the pushrods are a little shorter, and run at a more square angle to the rocker arms. It is a very competitive engine, I have neversaid they don't know what they are doing, just nothing original. Yes it is a show, but don't sell it short, there is nothing easy about a 250-500ml race at speeds of about 200mph or 175mph average! Eveery weekend during the season, at every track there are at least 300,000 spectators. Not to mention all the support personel.

@sandman 4X4. They had some European "road course ringers" who did very well for their very first time in a sedan admittedly on a roadcourse ,not an oval at Watkins Glen. Running an oval is a whole different discipline. Nelson Piquet Jr seems to be getting a pretty good handle on running the Camping World series, straight from F1 roadcourse events. Not every roadcourse racer adapts like Nelson though.

I feel the need to comment again. First off the original Boston Tea Party was about the lack of representation in British Parliament because we were a province with no nobles that were eligible to vote.

It's great to hear from you and see what you've been up to. In your blog I feel your enthusiasm for life. thank you.

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