Pickup trucks may pale in comparison to small cars, especially hybrid cars, when it comes to fuel efficiency, but because of its power and large capacity they still continue to be among the best selling vehicles in the United States. In fact, a pickup truck, the Ford F-150, topped the list of 10 best-selling cars (and trucks) just last June.
Ford F-150 XLT Photo via Chris Short
Before you get dismayed over the carbon footprint of pickup trucks, let’s put things in perspective and compare the carbon footprint of different light vehicles. As per 2007 figures published by the Vehicle Technologies Office of the US Department of Energy, pickup trucks have carbon footprints that are really close to that of vans and SUVs. So if you’re thinking of passing up pickup trucks in favor of other vehicle types, you’d better think twice because, unless you’re getting a car, the other benefits of using a pickup truck might end up negating the very small difference between published carbon footprints. Of course, finding the greener option will still depend on the particular model more than the vehicle type.
In case you do have a need for a pickup truck, be it for hauling around stuff for your business or the frequent need to go off-road, there are some things you can do to minimize your truck’s carbon footprint.