Ran into an interesting article on truck economy and after doing some quick calculations, it would appear each person saves the environment 3.4 tons of CO2 emissions per year by picking a two decade old 1985 Ford F150 (8.9 tons of carbon) over a much newer 1998 Ford F150 (12.3 tons of carbon). The truck owner also ends up losing $850 each and every year by driving a truck thats newer by 13 years. Over a ten year lifespan the older truck will save the owner $8,500 and 34 tons of carbon. The quoted text below is a cut and pasted article. The only edits I made were to provide direct links so one could fact check the articles claims with data direct from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
04/21 (LWN) While there has been much talk in recent months and years about the importance of improving automobile gas mileage, statistics seem to indicate a largely opposite trend for most models of small trucks. Let's take a look at how the gas mileage of small trucks has changed over the years...
FORD: In 1985, the Ford F150 pickup truck with a six-cylinder engine was capable of getting 19-24MPG, and the smaller Ford Ranger was available in a 29-33MPG diesel version. By 1996, the six-cylinder F150's gas mileage had fallen to 15-19MPG, and the diesel Ford Ranger was no longer available. The current model year's F-150 receives only 16-21MPG.
DODGE: The 1989 Dodge Dakota (four cylinder) had gas mileage of 22-28MPG. This decreased to 20-25MPG by 1998, and there is no longer a four-cylinder model available for this model year. The current six-cylinder Dakota gets about 16-22MPG, less with four-wheel-drive.
CHEVY/GMC: In 1987, several small trucks with relatively high gas mileage were available from these brands, including the El Camino six-cylinder (18-23MPG), the four-wheel-drive T10 (22-25MPG), and the four-cylinder S10 (22-27MPG). At present, these models have been discontinued and GMC's most fuel-efficient truck appears to be the Canyon four-cylinder, at 20-26MPG.
TOYOTA: During the late '80s, almost all of Toyota's trucks had four-cylinder engines, and some had gas mileage as good as 23-27MPG. By 1998, more six-cylinder models had been introduced, but the most fuel-efficient Tacoma still received 22-27MPG, almost as high as it was in the past. This year's most efficient Tacoma has about the same mileage (23-28MPG), not much different than two decades ago. Still, the introduction of their eight-cylinder Tundra model can hardly be described as an improvement.
NISSAN: In 1986, the Japanese automaker Nissan's most fuel efficient truck was capable of 26-31MPG, and a 30-33MPG diesel version was available. In 1992, Nissan's most fuel-efficient truck achieved 23-27 miles per gallon. 1999's Nissan Frontier pickup had slightly lower mileage, at 22-26MPG. Today, the most fuel efficient Frontier receives 22-25MPG, indicating a slow but steady decrease over the years.
If American and Japanese automakers are truly serious about addressing the issues of global warming, oil depletion, and pollution, they should take measures to move their small trucks toward better fuel efficiency, rather than continuing their trend of poorer gas mileage as most of them have over the past twenty years.
Gas mileage statistics are from FuelEconomy.gov. Most MPG statistics are for models with a manual transmission; automatic transmission models generally have the same or poorer mileage.
Less Waiting News, TRUCK GAS MILEAGE CONTINUES TO WORSEN