Automakers Eyeing 30 mpg for Large Pickups

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May 12, 2014 by   Comments Off on Automakers Eyeing 30 mpg for Large Pickups

Could a large pickup truck soon offer 30 miles per gallon highway mileage, comparable to a midsize sedan? The chief engineer for General Motors truck lines said today that’s not a crazy question.

“Fuel economy is very important to customers,” Jeff Luke, chief engineer for GM’s large pickups and sport utility vehicles said today at a media event in suburban Detroit. “A 30 number is a great number. We are doing a lot of work to raise the bar.”

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, not so long ago, 20 mpg highway was good for a large pickup truck, and 30 mpg highway was competitive for a midsize car. Now, neither of those numbers would turn heads.

Driven by federal fuel economy standards that ratchet up every year through 2025, and by customers who remember $100 fill-ups when gas was at $4 a gallon, the major players in the U.S. large pickup market have made big leaps in fuel efficiency during the past five years. A 2008 Chevrolet Silverado with a six cylinder engine was rated at just 20 mpg highway by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A 2015 Silverado equipped with a 5.3 liter V-8 is rated at 23 mpg.

The current fuel economy leader among light duty pickups,Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s Ram truck, is rated at 28 mpg highway with a diesel engine that went on sale earlier this year.

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