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Stellantis’ EcoDiesel engine is living up to its name as Ram has introduced a more fuel-efficient pickup.

Set to be launched in the second quarter, the new Ram 1500 Tradesman HFE EcoDiesel has a fuel economy rating of 23 mpg city, 33 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined.

While Ram was quick to point out the truck delivers an “unsurpassed highway rating of 33 mpg,” that’s nothing to brag about as the diesel-powered Chevrolet Silverado has an EPA fuel economy rating of up to 23 mpg city, 33 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined.

Also Read: 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Breaks Cover With 260 HP, 480 Lb-Ft

Putting fuel economy aside, the truck features a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine that produces 260 hp (194 kW / 264 PS) and 480 lb-ft (651 Nm) of torque. Its presumably paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the rear wheels.

The Ram 1500 Tradesman HFE EcoDiesel will be available exclusively as a crew cab pickup with a 5’ 7” bed and 20-inch aluminum wheels. The truck also sports black bumpers and a black grille as well as a limited color palette of Diamond Black Crystal or Bright White Clear Coat. Rounding out the highlights are cloth bucket seats, a tonneau cover and side steps.

Pricing starts at $42,240 – excluding a $1,695 destination charge – and Ram CEO Mike Koval Jr said “Ram is committed to innovation and powertrain leadership, and as the no-compromise benchmark for efficiency and performance, we continue to listen to customer input by offering unsurpassed fuel economy.”

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With new EV launches seemingly happening every week, Toyota has so far shied away from a meaningful commitment to battery electric vehicles. It’s a stance that may seem odd to the casual observer, as Toyota has been known for pioneering partly-electrified cars, such as the ubiquitous hybrid Prius and the hydrogen-powered Mirai.

Now though, Toyota seems to be coming around, albeit slowly, as they today announced the introduction of three new electrified vehicles for the U.S. market — two of which will be battery-electric (aka pure EVs), and the third a plug-in hybrid.

Of the three new vehicles entering the U.S lineup, one BEV is destined for Lexus, reports AutoNews, while the other two will remain under the Toyota umbrella. The site also reports that of the new EVs, one will be an SUV or Crossover, with production taking place in Japan.

See: Toyota President Calls Electric Cars ‘Overhyped’, Lashes Out At ICE Bans

While the move may seem like the first step towards largescale BEV production, the word from the Toyota camp is that they are still committed to offering multiple drivetrain options rather than going all-in with battery electric vehicles. They reason that between a BEV and a PHEV, both yield similar environmental benefits but that the cost of long-range BEV ownership is “much higher” than that of a PHEV.

Highlighting their findings, Toyota has shared the tool used to come to this conclusion, which can be found here. This tool is said to analyze the trade-off between greenhouse gas emissions and the total cost of ownership.

Toyota’s approach to offering consumers BEVs will be to provide a range of options, targeting the individual needs of a customer, as well as taking into account their circumstances. “We believe the fastest way to lower greenhouse gases in the transportation sector is to offer drivers lower carbon choices that meet their needs,” says Gill Pratt, chief scientist of Toyota Motor Corporation and CEO of Toyota Research Institute. “At every price point and with multiple powertrains, we can put more people in cleaner automobiles across North America to have the greatest near-term impact on total carbon emissions.”

These statements seem to echo the words of Toyota president Akio Toyoda, who late last year called upon governments and politicians to reconsider their approach to blanket bans on ICE vehicles. However, Toyota is said to be well into developing a game-changing solid-state battery, which could be unveiled in the coming years.

The approach of the Japanese carmaker, as with many others, to new EV tech will no doubt be an exciting space to watch.

Nissan is eliminating vans in the United Sates, but they’re alive and well in Europe as the company has introduced the facelifted NV300 Combi.

Looking far more substantial than its predecessor, the updated van has a more prominent grille that is flanked by new LED headlights. Further below, there’s an edgier bumper with revised air intakes and new fog lights.

Additional changes are limited, but the van can be equipped with optional 17-inch alloy wheels. Nissan says they help to further elevate the NV300’s appearance.

Also Read: Nissan NV300 Van Transformed Into A Mobile Workshop Concept

Bigger changes occur in the cabin as the NV300 adopts an all-new dashboard that features higher quality materials and a more upscale design. Drivers will also find a new steering wheel, modern switchgear, and a freestanding 8-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.

The upgrades don’t end there as the van has an additional 3.1 cubic feet (88 liters) of storage space. Much of this comes from a 1.9 cubic foot (54 liter) storage compartment which is located under the passenger seat.

On the safety front, the NV300 gains new driver assistance systems such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning, lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition technology. Besides the new tech, there are improved airbags.

Under the hood, there’s a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine which meets the latest emission standards. It’s available in three different outputs of 108 hp (81 kW / 110 PS), 148 hp (110 kW / 150 PS) and 168 hp (125 kW / 170 PS). The base engine is connected to a manual transmission, while an automatic gearbox is available or standard on the higher-end variants.

The facelifted NV300 Combi will go on sale in Europe this May.

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