Even trucks can be green.
While an environmentally friendly truck might sound like an oxymoron considering how quickly some full-size trucks can go through gas, the industry is taking steps to make them more fuel-efficient. Green Car Journal is recognizing those efforts with its Green Truck of the Year award.
The finalists are the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado, 2015 Ford F-150, 2015 GMC Canyon, 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and 2015 Ram 1500 HFE.
It's not surprising to see the F-150, which uses aluminum extensively to trim down by 700 pounds while also using turbocharged EcoBoost engines that achieve higher fuel-economy numbers without sacrificing power, or the diesel-powered Ram on the list. The Colorado and Canyon are all-new, and they can achieve up to 27 highway miles per gallon, mostly due to their smaller size and lighter weight. The Ram 1500 HFE is meant to achieve a high mpg number without using diesel power or unusually light sheet metal.
What this shows is that automakers aren't ignoring fuel economy in trucks. Whether it's due to consumer demand, tightening regulations or both, car companies know that they need to improve the fuel efficiency of their pickups.
That's not easy to do, but automakers know they have to do what it takes. It's possible that as technology continues to improve, the bar will be set even higher.
"The significant efficiency and environmental improvements being made in the truck segment signal an important change in the industry," Ron Cogan, publisher of the Green Car Journal and CarsOfChange.com, said in a statement quoted by USA TODAY. "These five finalists show that environmental improvement in the truck world is changing in a very big way."
The winning trucks will be announced on Nov. 6 in San Antonio.