Do You Know?
Electric and hybrid car excitement is all just a bunch of invented propaganda from people pushing their own green-car agenda. I prefer facts and real numbers. You can’t replace true hard facts with your own imaginary figures and not expect people to see what’s going on. And what do I mean by that? Well, if I were to ask the average American what the number-one selling vehicle in the U.S. is, I might get a few different answers. Based on the misinformation provided by the major news outlets, most responses would likely be some sort of fuel-efficient tin can. But the truth is that it’s a pickup. And not just any pickup, a fullsize truck! The number-one selling vehicle in the United States is a ½-ton Ford F-150! Not a Prius, not a Smart Car, not a Volt, nor any of those other poor excuses for an automobile that run on laptop computer batteries or chicken farts. It’s a truck, a real honest-to-goodness ½-ton truck that burns gasoline. That’s what people are really buying. Trucks!
“Not a Prius, not a Smart Car, not a Volt, or any of those other poor excuses for an automobile that run on laptop computer batteries or chicken farts.”
Interestingly enough, most of these hybrid and electric cars come with manufacturer cash-back buying incentives and discounts as well as government rebates. Why? I’ll tell you why, because no one is buying them. Right about now you are wondering why the auto manufacturers are even offering these new fuel-efficient cars for sale, many of which are sold at a loss. I can tell you that, too. It’s done to meet the government-mandated Corporate Average Fuel Economy (or CAFE) standards. Basically, an automotive manufacturer has to meet the CAFE standards with its entire fleet. For example, in 2017 that across-the-fleet number will be 36.6 mpg. In 2025 it will be 54.5 mpg. Now, in order for the OEs to meet these numbers, the companies have to offset the sales of more popular, less fuel-efficient V-8 cars and trucks with much smaller, less popular vehicles that get much better fuel economy, such as an electric or hybrid vehicle. So yes, the land of the free and home of the brave government is essentially forcing the automotive companies to sell fuel-efficient vehicles, quite often at a loss, so the companies can build and sell what Americans really want and need—large, less fuel-efficient trucks.
Anyway, as I was stewing on all this I received a news release about the new Nissan Titan being offered with the Cummins 5.0L V-8 engine. The Nissan Cummins is said to produce a torque rating in the mid-500s (lb-ft) with more than 300 horsepower. Earlier this year Ram announced its own ½-ton diesel truck with a 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel punching out 240hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. Both engines will surely provide better fuel economy than a traditional V-8 gas engine, yet they are very different powertrain solutions for different customer needs. Nissan is clearly aiming for incredible power and towing torque where Ram is aiming for ultimate fuel economy. Will the Cummins-powered Nissan Titan be able to keep its ½-ton frame, suspension, transmission, and axles in one piece? Will the EcoDiesel Ram make enough power to haul the heavy loads demanded of its customers? We’ll get behind the wheels of both trucks as soon as possible to get those answers. In the meantime, Ford, GM, and Toyota have some catching up to do. With all of the record sales numbers and advanced powertrain technology emerging in the light-truck segment, it sure is going to be an interesting ½-ton-truck fist-fight over the next couple of years.