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I was informed today that the 4.5L Duramax diesel has been delayed 18 months. I was told that due to several supplier bankruptcies and closures, along with the current financial crisis, the program is being temporarily shelved.

Ironically, I was informed yesterday that the Ford 4.4L light duty diesel program is being delayed for an undetermined amount of time as well.
 

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the Ford 4.4 was put on hold about 2 months ago and it was posted here , and I got to tell you they might get better MPG but right now I cannot see it viable when diesel its about a dollar higher than gas , well aroud here its like that and since Ford its planning the ecoboost engines for the F150 and that will help the MPG
 

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Well, if true, I suppose the 4.5L isn't THAT critical. Things like the new LaCrosse and Equinox are. The market isn't exactly clamoring for a smaller diesel option. Of course GM needs it, but if we have to prioritize if tough times......

Seems like its not all GM's fault either. Supplier problems?
 

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With the demise of the GMT360, I fear it will now only be placed in full size trucks anyway (I'll believe otherwise when I see it). So as usual if you want a GM vehicle that leads its segment you have to get an enormous $40K truck. No thanks.
 

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the Ford 4.4 was put on hold about 2 months ago and it was posted here , and I got to tell you they might get better MPG but right now I cannot see it viable when diesel its about a dollar higher than gas , well aroud here its like that and since Ford its planning the ecoboost engines for the F150 and that will help the MPG
Diesel around here is about $.35 more, not near a dollar. If you've ever pulled a trailer, you would know the benefit of diesel over gas. Gas turbos have much higher EGT's than diesels do and that shortens engine life in a heavier load application.
 

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me thinks the diesels have just become obsolete:

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2008/10/updated-hi-pa-d.html

The current iteration of PML Flightlink's Hi-Pa Drive electric Ford F-150, which will debut next week at SEMA, is 100 percent electric powered, according to Peter Christie, PML's director of sales and marketing

Energy for the four wheel-mounted electric motors is stored in a 40-kilowatt lithium-ion battery, mounted where the fuel tank used to be.

"Depending on the drive cycle, the truck's electric-power-only range is 75 to 100 miles," Christie said. "It requires plugging in overnight to recharge the battery."

PML has no plans to end its efforts to "green up" the F-150 after the SEMA show ends.

"The next step is to make the F-150 into a full series hybrid during the first quarter of 2009," said PML CEO Craig Knight. "We're hoping to use a flex-fuel motor from Ford that's already been certified [by the federal government]. That engine would be used to recharge the batteries when the truck is driving. We think it's a realistic goal the truck could get more than 100 mpg as a series hybrid."



In turning an F-150 into an all-electric full-size pickup, PML has removed its engine, transmission, exhaust system and rear differential. Even with four 66-pound motors that deliver 150 horsepower and an astonishing 516 pounds-feet of torque per wheel, the truck weighs less than a conventionally powered F-150.

Software controls power output to each wheel, depending on road conditions and slippage, using computer code to create a digital differential and full-time all-wheel drive.

"We're demonstrating that in-wheel motors can be used on larger vehicles," Knight said. "You don't have to be small to be green, and [if you're a manufacturer] you don't have to give up your most profitable vehicles. We're removing oil, carbon and cost from driving without compromising consumer choice and vehicle design."

There are no plans, for now, to mass produce the Hi-Pa F-150, but that could change. Knight said he believes that with the right backing and partnerships, Hi-Pa F-150s, or something similar, could roll off assembly lines by 2011.

We'll have more on the Hi-Pa F-150 next week during our SEMA show coverage.
 

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That's interesting!

I'm curious, does GM still own Electro-Motive Division (that's which locomotive company it was, right?)?

If they do, how hard would it be to work to bring the diesel-electric technology to a truck? Chevy Volt on steroids, anyone? As much acceleration as you want, with only as many RPMs as you need! Forget about gearing down, just develop a dynamic braking system for the truck! I like the idea!
 

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On the surface this electric F-150 looks impressive.

This might be great for someone who wants to run around in a truck but never wants to go anywhere quickly or haul anything. 516 lb ft of torque per wheel...2064 lb ft of torque. That sounds great until you consider the torque via gear reduction of even a gasser. Figure a modest 300 lb ft of torque, a mild 3.0:1 first gear, and 3.73 gears. That comes out to 3357 lb ft of torque at the wheels. Work backwards from their 2064 lb ft of torque number with 3.73 gears and a 3.0 first gear...you get the equivalent of an engine with a whopping 184 lb ft of torque. Looking forward to a diesel 1 ton, figure 600 lb ft of engine torque, a 4.5 1st gear and 4.10:1 gears...11,070 lb ft. I know electric motors are absolute torque monsters beyond what a diesel could hope for, but I am merely using their ratings on their motors.

66 pound motors at each wheel...holy ish that is a lot of unsprung weight. Talk about making it handle like a truck used to....



Hmmm....75 to 100 miles and then requiring an overnight recharge....not even close. It reads as that is the truck by itself, not even hauling or towing anything. Forget about a road trip with that thing.

My point is not to totally pooh-pooh their results. In reality I am impressed they have reached those levels. My point is that, in this pure electric form, it would be a vehicle that nobody looking for an actual pickup would consider. Truth be told, I don't know many pickup drivers who only occasionally need the hauling capacity who would be willing to buy a vehicle that limits their range so.

Put electric motors in there that are double the torque, give it a gas (or even diesel) engine to extend the range, and you would be getting close. It could still be more efficient than current trucks, but the "environmental" gains they boast would be gone. The truck would most likely be heavier than current vehicles...and you would still be using [gasp] oil and emitting carbon. Also, the motors would be much heavier still than these 66 pound motors...meaning handling (and emergency maneuvers) worsen.

Now, what is the increased cost of this truck (or my "improved" version), how much fuel would it save, and how long would I have to drive this new truck to offset the increased cost? I can see noticeable costs of maintaining/repairing electric motors & circuitry being sprayed with salt & pounded through mud & rough roads along with the expense of replacing a whole bunch of batteries. Ever notice that, as advances are made, car batteries seem to struggle to last through a 3 year warranty anymore?
 

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Tornado386,

Remember, that transmission you're describing has a lot of power losses in the drivetrain and needs to spin past 1000 RPM to make that power. The electric motor puts the full rated torque to the wheels and has all or nearly all torque right at 0 RPMs. I bet towing and hauling could be fine.

The real question is cost. I bet any automaker could have made an electric pickup this powerful (if not as safe and durable as the F-series) 5 or 10 years ago. But in order to break even on the parts costs, it might run $50,000 or more. Who's going to spend that kind of money for a truck with a 75 mile range empty? A few collectors, maybe some Hollywood stars looking for free publicity, and that's about all.
 

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This F150 obsoletes Diesels just like biobutanol obsoletes gasoline--on paper only.
 
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