• Sep 13th 2010 at 3:01PM
  • 87
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.

[Source: PickupTrucks.com]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      To the whole "goes to the grocery store" crowd, stop typing and start thinking...

      When you buy a vehicle you still have to:
      - eat (go to get food)
      - go to work
      - satisfy family obligations
      - take a vacation someday
      - etc...

      It's like you all think you buy a truck and all of life's needs just evaporate? God that would be nice.

      You all keep passing value judgments on others and really you are attacking freedom of choice. Keep that up and watch the pendulum swing when people get tired of being told what to do/drive and repeal regulations, etc...

      You want to displace petroleum in a sustainable way? Make that 600 ft-lb of torque "behemoth" efficient. Make that soccer mom SUV efficient. Why, because those are the cars people WANT to drive. They settle for smaller cars when they have too do so, not because they want to do so. Long term positive impact has to take personal preference and freedom into account.

      Very short sighted comments on the part of the green crowd.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "You want to displace petroleum in a sustainable way? Make that 600 ft-lb of torque "behemoth" efficient. Make that soccer mom SUV efficient. Why, because those are the cars people WANT to drive."

        You do realize that that's exactly what the article you're commenting on was suggesting, right?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I doubt that many buy HD trucks for non work related use.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Big government making value judgments. As long as the owners of those vehicles are paying for their own fuel, why should they be penalized more than the oil companies are already penalizing them?

      Oh yea, I remember now. For the "common good" of the collective.

      Resistance is futile.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If the government had not stepped in a few years ago and with the low-sulphur and emissions crap... these trucks would be getting 21MPG while pulling 10,000lbs...
        Instead the new ones are lucking to see 12-13mpg UNLOADED.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Big truck comes with big price tag, no surprises here.
      • 5 Years Ago
      You guys are missing the point, it isn't if the added cost is necessary or not, the point is that the Mustang GT and other sports cars are already taxed. The Gas guzzler tax applies to any car that gets below 20 some off MPG (don't know exactly the figure). HD trucks are EXEMPT from the tax, meaning they can get whatever millage they want and not pay the tax penalty that sports car do.

      This regulation would level the playing field, and make it even so that big truck enthusiast have to pay just as much as fast car enthusiast. Welcome to the club truck guys, it's about time you started paying your fair share like the rest of us already do.
        • 5 Years Ago
        the problem, "Amy," is that a far higher percentage of heavy-duty pickups are commercially used and not someone's personal vehicle like, say, a lot of F-150s. So you can bleat on about HD pickup buyers needing to "pay their fair share," but you're apparently blissfully ignorant that the buyers of these trucks will just pass along "their fair share" to you and the rest of us in the form of higher prices for their goods and services.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I've gotten used to reminding people that "there's a whole world out there besides the U.S." I didn't think it'd get to the point where we'd have to start reminding people that "there's a whole country out there besides Texas."
      • 5 Years Ago
      The parallel hybrid addition would not seem to make much sense in an HD truck, which should be used for HEAVY DUTY work, and not cruising around town. More efficient diesels would be the way to go, as well as forcing all to be able to use B100 from the start.

      Though a $75k truck would discourage the "I just want a big truck" crowd rather well.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Avinash machado ,

      Actually lots of heavy Duty truck owners do not use them for work..I know several people who use them as daily drivers..Remember they can get 18+ average mpg..My Aunt gets 21 average mpg in her 05 Accord,My Uncle gets 19.5 average MPG in his Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel QuadCab 4x4 daily driver....I get 16.2 av mpg's in my 2010 Hemi Ram 1500 and my BMW gets the same average mpg as my uncles Huge Diesel H/D !!
      • 5 Years Ago
      This will only hurt those that own their own business's or work for a living moving equipment. Very few people spend $56,000 on a truck to drive around town. Come to Oklahoma and watch the highways in the small towns and count the # of people driving a HD truck that arent hauling anything related to their means of living (theres very little FYI).
      • 5 Years Ago
      For God's sake.....2 things here.......one, is that this is what they get, and consequently, we get, for the auto industry playing Garsshopper & The Ant....the second, is that if an entire engine costs that much or less....why in the world, would it take, after R&D costs, more than twice as much to make it get a few more miles per gallon?
      With all the excess torque this engine puts out...when it's being driven as a car....it can run a pretty big generator without even breaking a sweat, which can run in a vacuum, and cycle on and off like ..oh geez....how old is the technology now in those flywheel busses in Sweden in the 50s and 60s?..about 2 times the power need to run it's large alternator...add regen brakes, an exhaust manifold heated sterling or "steam engine turning another generator......all costing about $2500 or less each......and we've just cut the 15k to 7.5k......and gained more mileage than some sissa.s overpriced underengineered trinket.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope you guys realize they're not talking about F-150s here. they're talking about "3/4" and "1-ton" pickups which are not currently subject to either CAFE or EPA fuel economy testing. Trucks with a GVWR of less than 8,500 lbs, such as the F-150 or GM/Ram 1500-class trucks are below 8,500 lbs GVWR and already are subject to EPA/CAFE testing.

      and since the vast majority of personal light truck sales are "1/2-ton," those of you grousing about "getting all of those fuel sucking beasts off the road" are way, way off base.
      • 5 Years Ago
      @ Mike!!ekiM ,
      @ pdxghr,
      @and other brain washed drones !!

      Stop drinking the far left Kool Aid my friends !

      The U.S and Canada are full of oil !! Enough to last hundreds upon hundreds of years..Everybody needs oil,drill (its done environmentally friendly ,in Canada they restore the land to better than before conditions after they drill ,remember oil naturally seeps to the suface,they drill it clean it up plant tree's ect )And people will have good high paying jobs,and the States will recover,there is no money in so-called green jobs !! Total farce !

      Todays vehicles run very clean,even with higher h.p. bigger size ect..

      If you dont like vehicles simple ..walk ! Dont force me into paying extra cash because I want a Huge truck just to drive in circles around town for fun..I actually drive 300-1000 km every weekend just cruisin around in my Truck,smoking the tires..ect !! Freedom is great !

      I feel sorry for the people who are brain washed into thinking man made global warming is real !! There is no evidence of it,thats why Al Gore doesnt have a debate,he has no real facts to back up his wild claims ! The climate gate e-mails are another nail in the coffin,proving its made up !

      Electric cars are not the answer...guess what you have to drill to get the ion out of the ground !!! They are destroying land all over Asia because of it ! And you fluorescent lights contain mercury that are not environmentaly safe,or safe for people to handle,sit close by ect...Windmills,are not efficient enough and they destroy tree's,you have to clear cut everything to put up wind mills,plus they kill millions of birds per year ! Whatever you brainwashed greens do its worse than just letting myself and others cruise around in our huge trucks,and drilling for oil ! Wake up and educate yourself,not with your far left cronies but actual people who know something !!

      • 5 Years Ago
      And will BP ever pay for all of the costs of restoring the Gulf environment to the conditions before the spill? Of course not so let's disincentivize the use of their product so we as a society don't have to keep paying for all of the very real, external costs, of using their products.
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