Green Car Journal’s Green Car Awards, the annual awards program honoring the year’s most standout new ‘green’ models, was presented at the Virtual Greenbuild Conference + Expo in November this year. The 2021 virtual awards program was an innovation during an unusual year, amid the postponement and cancellation of international auto shows where the Green Car Awards typically take place.
Over the years, these high-profile awards have grown along with the expanding field of ‘green’ cars on the road. They now recognize not only the magazine’s signature Green Car of the Year, but also exceptional models that speak to families, city dwellers, luxury buyers, pickup enthusiasts, and those requiring the functionality of an SUV. All provide the traditional touchstones of safety, quality, value, style, and performance, plus that fun-to-drive quality important to most drivers. What they add are greater efficiency, lower carbon and tailpipe emissions, petroleum reduction or displacement, or operation on battery electric power.
GREEN CAR OF THE YEAR
This year’s candidates for 2021 Green Car of the Year reflect the auto industry’s transition toward electrification, even as it continues to make internal combustion ever-more efficient. Three of this year’s finalists, the Mustang Mach-E, MINI Cooper SE, and Volkswagen ID.4, drive exclusively on zero-emission battery power. The BMW 330e is a plug-in hybrid that drives up to 23 miles on battery power and hundreds more as a hybrid. The Hyundai Elantra is offered with either an efficient gasoline engine or a gas-electric hybrid achieving up to 50 miles per gallon.
Rising to the top of the field is Green Car Journal’s 2021 Green Car of the Year, Ford’s all-new Mustang Mach-E, a model that boasts an instantly-recognizable name and heritage, while breaking new ground as an all-electric crossover featuring up to 300 miles of range. Performance is part of the package, as is unmistakable style and all the latest advanced electronics.
The 2021 Green Car of the Year® is selected by a highly-respected jury comprised of energy and environmental leaders including Mindy Lubber, president of CERES; Jean-Michel Cousteau, president of Ocean Futures Society; Dr. Alan Lloyd, president emeritus of the International Council on Clean Transportation and senior research fellow at the Energy Institute, University of Texas at Austin; Clay Nesler, interim president of the Alliance to Save Energy; and Matt Petersen, president and CEO of Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator and advisory board chair of Climate Mayors. Rounding out the Green Car of the Year jury is celebrity auto enthusiast Jay Leno and Green Car Journal editors .
LUXURY GREEN CAR OF THE YEAR
At a more premium price point, 2021 Luxury Green Car of the Year finalists also illustrate the momentum achieved by electric drive in the new car vehicle field. Four of these premium vehicles are all-electric models – the Audi e-tron Sportback, Polestar 2, Tesla Model Y, and Volvo XC40 Recharge. The fifth, the Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring, is the plug-in hybrid variant of Lincoln’s Corsair compact crossover that combines gas-electric hybrid and all-electric driving.
Honored as this year’s Luxury Green Car of the Year is the Polestar 2, a groundbreaking model from Polestar on many levels. This all-new premium vehicle is only the second of this new auto brand’s model offerings, and the first to be all-electric. This zero-emission, two-door fastback looks to the future even as it foregoes futuristic styling, instead choosing to offer an understated yet elegant and sophisticated design, tasteful appointments, and a nearly 300 mile range on battery power.
URBAN GREEN CAR OF THE YEAR
Urban environments pose their own unique challenges – tight spaces, often crowded streets, and hard-to-find parking. Here, smaller vehicles with a compact physical footprint and easy maneuverability are always top choices. The 2021 Urban Green Car of the Year award recognizes vehicles especially well-suited for life in the city. Top choices for this year’s award are the Hyundai Venue, Kia Seltos, Kia Soul, MINI Cooper SE, and Nissan Versa. Four are conventionally-powered – three of them crossover SUVs and one a compact sedan – with the fourth, the MINI Cooper SE, an all-electric crossover.
Taking top honors for 2021 Urban Green Car of the Year is the all-electric MINI Cooper SE. Standing out as an ideal vehicle for the city, the Cooper SE is compact in stature and big on features. Its represents what this brand all about: An iconic look, great maneuverability, and driving fun wrapped in a small package. Plus, electric power means zero localized emissions and no trips venturing out to the gas station in a crowded urban environment.
FAMILY GREEN CAR OF THE YEAR
While any model can serve family duty, those offering extra versatility and thoughtful family-friendly features are high on many shopping lists. Today, driving ‘green’ has also become a priority. Minivans have always been a solid choice, but these days three-row crossover SUVs can also do the job as family hauler. Finalists for 2021 Family Green Car of the Year are the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, Honda Odyssey, Kia Sorrento Hybrid, Toyota Highlander Hybrid, and Toyota Sienna. The Kia Sorrento Hybrid and Toyota Highlander Hybrid crossovers drive on efficient hybrid power. Honda’s Odyssey minivan features an efficient V-6 with variable cylinder management. The Toyota Sierra is exclusively a hybrid-powered minivan, while the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan also offers plug-in hybrid power.
Standing out as Family Green Car of the Year is the Toyota Sienna, a minivan that seeks to set the standard for modern family haulers. The stylish and fuel-efficient Sienna offers premium sedan-like style, admirable hybrid fuel efficiency, and a thoughtful blend of family-desired features along with driver-centric characteristics not always associated with minivans. It shows Toyota’s keen grasp of how to make a modern minivan that not only serves up family functionality, but also premium car style and appeal.
GREEN SUV OF THE YEAR
The hottest segment in the automotive field today is the SUV, either full-size or compact, traditional or crossover, two-row or three, conventional, hybrid, or plug-in. There are no shortage of choices, which makes narrowing the field to five outstanding finalists no small challenge. The top five finalists emerging this year for Green SUV of the Year are the Audi Q5 55 TFSI e, BMW X3 xDrive 30e, Jeep Wrangler 4xe, Toyota RAV4 Prime, and Toyota Venza. Four of these –from Audi, BMW, Jeep, and Toyota – are plug-in hybrids with an all-electric driving range from 18 to 42 miles, and additional hundreds of miles on hybrid power. Toyota’s Venza is an all-wheel drive, tech-rich hybrid with exceptional fuel efficiency.
Taking top honors for the 2021 Green SUV of the Year title is the Jeep Wrangler 4xe, an SUV that’s different in many ways from others in its class. To some, it’s an SUV in the traditional sense with high functionality and loads of versatility that’s perfect for the diversity of everyday life. But to others, it’s that, plus a means of escape, heading toward the city one day and then driving the path less taken on another, a path often rough, unpaved, and pointed towards adventure.
GREEN TRUCK OF THE YEAR
This year’s Green Truck of the Year finalists embody all the workhorse capabilities expected of a modern pickup while offering passenger car-like comfort, advanced on-board electronics, and levels of fuel efficiency unheard of in pickups of just a decade ago. Pickups honored as finalists for Green Truck of the Year are the Chevrolet Colorado, Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150, Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel, and RAM 1500. All offer diverse powertrain choices, from gasoline and diesel internal combustion to variations of mild- and full-hybrid power.
Powering its way to well-deserved recognition as 2021 Green Truck of the Year is the Ford F-150, a pickup long distinguished as the best-selling model in the nation and a champion of innovation. Beyond its wide array of configurations, powertrain choices, payload capacities, and towing capabilities, it now adds such innovations as an efficient PowerBoost hybrid powerplant, fold-flat ‘sleeper’ seats, and an available Pro Power Onboard output system with outlets that allow the truck to function as a mobile generator at worksites or campsites.
The Green Car Awards™ program, presented annually since 2005, is an important part of Green Car Journal's mission to showcase environmental progress in the automotive field.
Following the recent addition of a fuel efficient V-6 diesel option, Ford’s perennial top-selling F-150 will also now be available with a powerful and efficient hybrid powertrain for 2021 model. The hybrid delivers performance from an all-new 3.5 liter V-6 PowerBoost engine that Ford claims makes it the most powerful in the full-size, half-ton pickup class. The gas-electric combination transfers power through a ten-speed Select-Shift automatic transmission. Hybrid power makes great sense in a pickup model where the instantaneous torque from an electric motor can be put to good use.
The hybrid F-150 stores electricity in a 1.5 kilowatt lithium-ion battery that powers a 47 hp electric motor, with the battery packaged under the truck between the F-150’s fully boxed frame rails. An optional Pro Power Onboard output system allows the hybrid F-150 to function as a mobile generator at worksites or campsites, with the generator cranking out enough juice to power the equivalent of 28 average household refrigerators. Plug-in connections include in-cabin outlets, four cargo bed-mounted 120 volt/20-amp outlets, and a 240 volt/30-amp outlet.
EPA fuel economy estimates for the hybrid variant are yet to be released, though we do know the PowerBoost hybrid F-150 is expected to travel over 700 miles on a single tank of gas. Fortunately, the hybrid model won’t compromise any of the F-150’s best-in-class hauling or towing capabilities. Tow rating should exceed 12,000 pounds. An array of other engine options are offered in the F-150 line including a 3.3-liter V-6 FFV, 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6, 5.0-liter V-8, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, and 3.0-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V-6. EPA estimated mpg ratings for the 2021 F-150 have yet to be released.
Across the model lineup, there are 11 new grille options. The F-150 is available in Regular Cab, SuperCab, SuperCrew configurations with 5.5, 6.5, and 8.0 foot cargo beds. The 2021 model continues to offer excellent towing and cargo-carrying capabilities, though 2021 model specs have yet to be released.
This is one new pickup that doesn’t skimp on technology. The F-150 offer’s Co-Pilot360 2.0 drive assist and collision avoidance tech, plus Ford’s SYNC4 with over-the-air updates of road and traffic conditions in your path. A new 12-inch center display is standard on XLT models and above.
Ford took vehicle lightweighting to a new extreme a number of years ago when it shed the F-150’s stamped steel body in favor of an all-aluminum alloy skin. Full-size pickups in general and the F150 in particular are true bread-and-butter products for Ford.
The innovative PowerBoost hybrid model should keep the F-150 top-of-mind for many amid the field’s pack of half-ton, full-size pickup contenders.
Green Car Journal has revealed the finalists for its Green Truck of the Year™ and Commercial Green Car of the Year™ awards, part of the Green Car Awards™ program hosted annually by the San Antonio Auto & Truck Show.
Finalists for 2019 Green Truck of the Year™ include the Chevrolet Colorado, Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150, Ford Ranger, and RAM 1500. Making the cut as finalists for 2019 Commercial Green Car of the Year™ are the Ford Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan, Ford Transit Connect, Mercedes-Benz Metris, RAM ProMaster City, and RAM 1500.
Green Car Awards™ winners will be announced on Thursday, November 15 at the San Antonio Auto & Truck Show, which takes place November 15-18 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.
2019 GREEN TRUCK OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
Chevrolet’s Colorado pickup offers a handsome design, an array of advanced on-board electronics, and desired creature comforts. Choices include two-door extended cab and four-door crew cab variants in Work Truck (WT), LT, Z71, and ZR2 models. This mid-sized pickup offers notable fuel economy and enhanced maneuverability including a short turning radius of 41.3 feet. Three engines are available – a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, 3.6-liter V-6, and a high efficiency turbodiesel. The Colorado’s 2.8-liter Duramax Turbodiesel four-cylinder engine connects to a 6-speed automatic transmission and delivers impressive fuel efficiency of 30 highway mpg.
The all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado pickup is lighter, more tech-laden, and more aggressively styled. It comes in eight trim levels with regular, double, and crew cabs plus short and long beds. An all-new Durabed cargo box is seven inches wider with greater hauling capacity. Plenty of powertrain choices are available including a new 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, a new 2.7-liter turbo, and a 4.3-liter V-6. A 3.0-liter Duramax diesel paired with a 10-speed automatic and a stop-start system is coming in early 2019. The model’s 5.3-liter V-8 and 6.2-liter V-8 feature Dynamic Fuel Management that enables only those cylinders needed to deliver required power to come into play.
The 2019 Ford F-150 continues to use the automaker’s revolutionary aluminum body that contributes to higher fuel efficiency without sacrificing all-around functionality. Military-grade aluminum alloy and a high-strength steel frame allowed Ford to decrease the body weight by up to 770 pounds compared to the previous generation. The 2019 F-150 comes in eight trim levels and Regular, SuperCab, and SuperCrew choices. They are available with 5.5, 6.5, and 8-foot bed lengths, depending on cab style and trim level. Rear- and four-wheel drive are available. Powering the F-150 are five gasoline engines and a new 3.0-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V-6. All now come with auto start/stop technology.
Ford’s Ranger is back after a seven-year absence from the North American market, available as a SuperCab or SuperCrew built on a common 126.8-inch wheelbase. The SuperCab comes with a 6-foot bed while the SuperCrew gets a 5-foot bed. A turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder coupled to a 10-speed automatic transmission is the sole powertrain choice. Rear- and part-time four-wheel-drive are available. The new Ranger offers FordPass Connect Wi-Fi with 4G LTE connectivity plus an array of driver assist systems, including standard forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and an available blind spot warning system.
The all-new, completely restyled RAM 1500 is lighter, more fuel efficient, and higher tech than ever. This versatile pickup is offered in four-door quad cab and crew-cab body styles, with 67.4- and 76.3-inch beds featuring more hauling and towing capacity than the generation before it. Capabilities include the ability to tow up to 12,750 pounds and carry a payload of up to 2,320 pounds. Efficiency is enhanced by shedding up to 225 pounds through the use of high-strength steel, aluminum, and composites. Importantly, the new RAM pickup features 3.6-liter V-6 eTorque and 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 eTorque mild hybrid powertrains. It is equipped with the latest driver assist and connectivity technology.
2019 COMMERCIAL GREEN CAR OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
The restyled, new-generation Ford Transit Connect van and wagon are available in short- and long-wheelbase versions. The cargo variant offers a volume of up to 146 cubic feet and payload capability up to 1570 pounds, with the ability to tow 2000 pounds. Twin sliding side doors are convenient for making sidewalk deliveries. The rear can be equipped with a traditional liftgate or split cargo doors. Available powerplants include a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder flex-fuel engine offering 24 city/27 highway mpg and a new 1.5-liter EcoBlue turbodiesel expected to net up to 30 highway mpg. Auto stop/start is standard on both new engines. A 2.5-liter Duratec engine is carried over from last year.
Ford’s Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan is ideal for detectives, police chiefs, and other government personnel. Based on the Ford Fusion plug-in hybrid, it uses a 7.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery that delivers up to 21 miles on a charge, plus the ability to drive up to 85 mph exclusively on electric power. Given the typical use of a detective or police chief vehicle, this plug-in sedan offers the potential for working a full shift without using any gasoline. Overall range on battery and internal combustion power is over 500 miles. While parked, the battery pack allows the engine to shut off and keep the car’s electronics running for an extended period to save fuel and decrease emissions.
Mercedes-Benz Metris is this automaker’s offering for commercial vehicle buyers who like the Sprinter van, but desire something a bit smaller. They get it in this mid-size van and wagon that fits in a standard garage. Cargo and wagon versions are offered in regular and entry-level Worker versions. Power comes from a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine rated at 21 city and 24 highway mpg, connected to a seven-speed automatic transmission. Metris features sliding doors on both sides, wide-opening rear doors, a cargo capacity of 2,500 pounds, and a 5,000-pound tow rating. New for 2019 is an optional rear liftgate and standard stop/start operation to enhance efficiency.
The RAM ProMaster City compact commercial van and wagon feature an updated front facia that mirrors the front-end design of the new 2019 RAM 1500. Ideally-sized for city use where maneuverability and versatility are key, the van features a payload capacity of 1,883 pounds and is capable of towing 2,000 pounds, while offering 21 city and 28 highway mpg. New telematics allow fleet managers to monitor van usage and driver behavior. Power is delivered by a 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission. Two sliding side doors and rear 60/40 split doors that swing open to 180 degrees facilitate access to its 131.7 cubic foot cargo area.
RAM 1500 emerges as an all-new, fifth-generation pickup in 2019. It’s offered in four-door quad cab and crew-cab body styles, with 67.4- and 76.3-inch beds. This versatile pickup features more hauling and towing capacity than the generation that came before it, with the ability to tow up to 12,750 pounds and carry a payload of up to 2,320 pounds. RAM 1500 is also lighter, with efficiency enhanced by shedding up to 225 pounds through the use of high-strength steel, aluminum, and composites. It features eTorque mild hybrid technology in both the 3.6-liter and 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 powertrains. As would be expected, RAM also offers the latest driver assist and connectivity technology to enhance commercial operation.
Green Car Journal has selected Ram’s ProMaster City as its inaugural 2016 Commercial Green Car of the Year™ and Ford’s F-150 as its 2016 Green Truck of the Year™. The awards were presented at a press conference held at the 2015 San Antonio Auto & Truck Show in San Antonio, Texas.
Nominees for Commercial Green Car of the Year™ also included the Chevrolet City Express, Ford Transit Connect, Mercedes-Benz Metris, and Nissan NV200, while finalists for Green Truck of the Year™ included the Chevrolet Colorado Duramax, GMC Canyon Duramax, Nissan Titan XD, and Toyota Tacoma. While hard-working functionality remains a cornerstone for models like these aimed at business and personal use, the added benefit of higher fuel economy, lower carbon emissions, and greater environmental compatibility is crucial to a more compatible motoring future.
Ram’s award-winning ProMaster City is a new addition to the growing compact van field that champions increased efficiency and urban maneuverability. It comes in wagon and cargo versions with the ability to tow up to 2000 pounds. Power is provided by an efficient 178 horsepower, 2.4-liter aluminum block Tigershark engine already well-proved in Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep models. Offering a base price of $23,130, the ProMaster City’s EPA rating of 21 city/29 highway mpg is enhanced by the first-ever use of a nine-speed transmission in a commercial van.
The ProMaster City carries up to 1,883 pounds or 131.7 cubic feet of cargo and features a cargo-friendly 48.8 inches between interior wheel wells. A Uconnect 5.0 audio and multimedia system featuring a five-inch touchscreen, integrated voice command with Bluetooth, and steering wheel audio controls is available.
Ford’s F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in America for well over three decades. In its new generation it shed a considerable 700 pounds through the use of a military-grade all-aluminum body and high-strength steel chassis, improving both fuel efficiency and overall performance while offering a reasonable base price of $26,430. Its 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 allows this pickup to achieve up to 26 mpg on the highway. The F-150 also offers a gaseous fuel prep package that allows running on cleaner burning natural gas or propane.
The F-150 features SYNC 3, Ford’s newest communications and entertainment system that delivers enhanced voice recognition and a capacitive touch screen. With the F-150’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist technology, a driver steers a trailer instinctively by turning a knob left or right to indicate direction, then backs up as the truck controls its steering and limits vehicle speed.
As part of its finalists vetting process, Green Car Journal evaluates the environmental achievement of pickups and light-duty commercial vehicles along with their all-important functionality. Vehicles running on all fuels and technologies are considered. Market significance, ‘newness’, and other important criteria are weighed as the field is narrowed to five finalists for each award.
The 47th annual San Antonio Auto & Truck Show was presented by the San Antonio Automobile Dealers Association at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio. Each year, the show highlights the auto industry’s newest innovations and is recognized as South Texas’ premier automotive event.
For a decade, Green Car Journal has been recognizing vehicles that significantly raise the bar in environmental performance. With automakers stepping up to offer ever-more efficient and ‘greener’ vehicles in all classes, the magazine’s awards program has naturally expanded to include a greater number of awards for recognizing deserving vehicles.
This prompted the recent suite of Green Car Awards presented during Policy Day at the Washington Auto Show in the nation’s capital – the 2015 Green SUV of the Year™, 2015 Green Car Technology Award™, and 2015 Luxury Green Car of the Year™.
BMW’s gull-wing i8 earned the distinction as the 2015 Luxury Green Car of the Year, outshining competitors Audi A8 L TDI, Cadillac ELR, Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid, and Tesla Model S. Aimed at aspirational buyers who value superb styling and exceptional performance combined with the efficiency of plug-in hybrid drive, the i8 is unique among its peers with an advanced carbon fiber passenger body shell. It also features a lightweight aluminum drive module with a gasoline engine, lithium-ion batteries, and electric motor. The i8 can drive on battery power for 22 miles and up to 310 miles on hybrid power.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel rose to the top as the magazine’s 2015 Green SUV of the Year, besting finalists Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell, Lexus NX 300h, and Mazda CX-5. Offering excellent fuel efficiency for an SUV of its size, the Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel’s 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 offers up to 30 highway mpg and is approved for B20 biodiesel use. An Eco Mode optimizes the 8-speed transmission’s shift schedule, cuts fuel feed while coasting, and directs the air suspension system to lower the vehicle at speed for aerodynamic efficiency.
The Ford F-150 was honored with the 2015 Green Car Technology Award for its milestone use of an all-aluminum body. Competing for the award were advanced powertrains in the BMW i3, BMW i8, Chevrolet Impala Bi-Fuel, Ford F-150, Honda Fit, Kia Soul EV, Tesla Model S, VW e-Golf, and Volvo Drive-E models. The F-150’s aluminum body enables the all-new 2015 pickup model to shed up to 700 pounds for greater efficiency and performance.
While the Green Car Technology Award has a history at the Washington Auto Show, the first-time Green SUV of the Year and Luxury Green Car of the Year awards could not have existed just a short time ago. Simply, SUVs and luxury vehicles were seldom considered ‘green,’ and for good reason. An SUV/crossover’s mission was to provide family transport and recreational capabilities, while aspirational/luxury vehicles were expected to deliver the finest driving experience combined with high-end appointments and exceptional design. Both categories held few environmental champions and ‘green’ was hardly an afterthought.
The evolving nature of ‘green’ cars has brought about a fundamental shift in which environmental performance is now important in SUVs and luxury vehicles. Even so, not all models in these classes are created equal. The challenge has been finding the right balance – the ‘sweet spot’ – that finds SUVs and luxury vehicles delivering the efficiency and environmental qualities desired without sacrificing the conventional touchstones – quality, safety, luxury, value, performance and functionality – that consumers demand. This year’s winners of the 2015 Green Car Awards clearly achieve this balance.
Presenting these important awards at the Washington Auto Show is compelling considering its reputation as the ‘Policy Show,’ a result of the show’s proximity to Capitol Hill and the influence that Washington DC has in driving a more efficient generation of vehicles to market. The 2015 Washington Auto Show has also expanded in recent years, receiving accreditation from the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles (OICA) as one of the five top tier auto shows in America. This year’s Washington Auto Show featured more than 700 vehicles from over 42 domestic and import auto manufacturers, plus a Green Car Awards exhibit showcasing 15 finalist vehicles within the show’s Advanced Technology Superhighway exhibit area.
The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, a powerhouse pickup that offers the only advanced, fuel-efficient diesel engine in the light-duty truck segment, has earned the distinction as Green Car Journal’s 2015 Green Truck of the Year™. The award was presented at the San Antonio Auto & Truck Show in San Antonio, Texas, in the state that justifiably lays claim to being ‘truck country.’
Green Truck of the Year™ honors a truck that best exemplifies what can be achieved when environmental performance is viewed as important as traditional core values like functionality, payload, towing capability, and versatility. Blending environmental achievement with these traditional characteristics is not easy, and in many cases it’s also not cheap. But it is needed. Auto manufacturers are now placing significant new emphasis on trucks that achieve improved fuel efficiency, feature better overall environmental performance, and in some cases run on alternative fuels.
In addition to the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, this year’s award finalists included the all-new Ford F-150, Chevrolet Colorado, and GMC Canyon pickups, plus the efficient gasoline Ram 1500 HFE. Each of these pickups brings its own brand of efficiency and improved environmental performance to bear in the truck market.
The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel distinguishes itself with a powerful and highly efficient powerplant that breaks new ground in the light-truck segment, accomplishing its mission of improved environmental performance without sacrificing the core values important to truck buyers. The engine produces 240 horsepower and a substantial 420 pound-feet of torque while offering rather impressive fuel economy, at least by pickup truck standards, with official EPA estimates of 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. This exceptional fuel efficiency provides a driving range of over 700 miles between fill-ups. The pickup is available in Regular Cab, Quad Cab, and Crew Cab versions with either two- or four-wheel drive.
Some of the key features of the 60-degree V-6 EcoDiesel engine include a dual overhead camshaft with 24 valves, cast iron block with aluminum heads, and a 15.5:1 compression ratio. A 29,000 psi common rail fuel injection system with solenoid injectors is used. The engine is equipped with a diesel oxidation catalyst, diesel particulate filter, and selective catalyst reduction to make it emissions-compliant in all 50 states. It can also use B20 biodiesel fuel.
Along with its considerable towing, hauling, and people-handling capabilities, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel intelligently focuses on efficiencies with active aerodynamics including grill shutters that close for less drag at highway speeds. Other efficiency measures like an eight-speed automatic transmission and an air suspension system that lowers the truck at higher speeds are used to optimize fuel economy and achieve lower greenhouse gas emissions.
When Chrysler introduced the first clean diesel engine in the light-duty pickup segment, there was no way to know just how many pickup buyers would be won over and drive one away from the showroom. Today, production of this truck model has doubled beyond expectations and continues to gain momentum. It was clearly a breakthrough move for the Ram brand and a deserving winner of the 2015 Green Truck of the Year™ award.