New Model News

It's back in black: 2020 Ram Heavy Duty Limited Black Edition debuts

The Ram Heavy Duty Limited Black Edition is new for 2020.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The 2020 Ram Heavy Duty Limited Black Edition makes safely blacking out possible. Ram's newest model builds on the Ram HD's Limited trim level and adds a monochromatic package the includes exterior and interior enhancements.

Ram is selling the edition on its 2500 and 3500 HD models. It retains the same level of capability as the traditional Ram HD pickup. Ram Heavy Duty offers a towing capacity of 35,100 pounds and a payload capacity of 7,680 pounds.

It is available with either a 4x2 or 4x4 drivetrain and the buyer's choice of a 6.4-liter HEMI V8, 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel six-cylinder, or 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel six-cylinder high output engine.

2020 Ram Heavy Duty Limited BlackThe model has black accents inside and out.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

"Ram is committed to continuous improvement and that includes looking for ways to deliver unique models with features and durability that continue to win over more and more buyers. Offering a customized look directly from the factory allows customers even more personalization and greater usability," said Mike Koval Jr., Head of Ram Brand. "The new Ram Heavy Duty Limited Black Edition is another example of how we deliver the most luxurious pickups in the industry."

The exterior of the HD Limited Black Edition features black exterior accents including a grille with “RAM" lettering, door handles, size-view trailer tow mirrors, tow hooks, badging, and headlight and taillight bezels. Single rear-wheel models will ride on standard 20-inch black aluminum wheels. Dual rear-wheel models have 17-inch black aluminum wheels with machined eyelets.

The Ram HD Limited Black Edition comes standard with a 12-inch infotainment touch screen. The Ram 3500 is available with the industry's only supplemental rear air bag system with Hotchkiss leaf springs.

The Ram Heavy Duty Limited Black Edition has a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $62,745.

Ram Heavy Duty Limited Black Edition trucks begin reaching dealerships in the third quarter of 2020.

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First-year Ford F-150 Lightning production numbers doubled
Ford

Ford has begun serial production of the new F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, marking what could be one of the most important days in recent automotive history. The first trucks rolled off the assembly line at Ford's Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan today, so America's best-selling truck has finally gone electric. Ford wants to sell two million EVs per year by 2026 and have half of its global sales volume to be electric by 2030.

Ford F-150 LightningPast meets future: Ford's new electric pickup will be the F-150 Lightningautomotivemap.com

Ford has seen extreme demand for the trucks, with 200,000 reservations since the books opened. To deliver, the automaker plans to increase production to an annual rate of 150,000 units by next year, which involved huge investments in the Rouge Center and created hundreds of jobs. Ford's total investment for the F-150 Lightning crests $1 billion across Michigan alone, and has created 1,700 jobs across various facilities in the state.

Ford F-150 LightningThe first production trucks left the factory today.
Ford Motor Company

Though the Lightning starts around $40,000, the most mainstream models will cost much more than that. The F-150 Lightning Pro, while affordable, is a stripped-down truck intended for commercial buyers. It's still a forward-looking electric truck with amazing capabilities, but it lacks much of the creature comforts and features that everyday drivers expect. Higher trims get the latest driver assistance features, including BlueCruise, which is Ford's semi-autonomous hands-free driving assistant. A 12-inch touchscreen is standard, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and more.

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New mail delivery vehicles

USPS orders almost $3 billion in new mail trucks

The new mail trucks are scheduled to hit the streets next year.

USPS

Your mail carrier is about to get a huge transportation upgrade. The United States Postal Services (USPS) is retiring its current fleet of mail trucks, many of which have been on the road for more than 30 years. The Oshkosh Defense Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) is expected to hit the streets in 2023, and will mark a big step forward in safety, comfort, and even styling for the classic mail truck.

The $2.98 billion order is for 50,000 vehicles, around 10,000 of which will be electric - more than double the original number of EVs expected in the contract. The USPS' current fleet contains nearly 200,000 vehicles, many of which have been on the road for decades. They lack current safety features, are massively inefficient, and have long been a maintenance nightmare. The new trucks will be able to carry larger loads and will offer basic comfort and convenience features, such as air conditioning, a camera system, and traction control.

Oshkosh NGDVThe new vehicles offer numerous upgrades over the previous model. USPS

Even with the steep increase in the number of EVs, the USPS deal is still heavily tilted toward gas-powered trucks. As Reutersnotes, 80 percent of the trucks purchased will be powered by internal combustion engines. The Postal Service estimates its 20-year costs at $9.3 billion for gas mail trucks and $11.6 billion for EVs. Those numbers cover 75,000 new trucks and includes fuel, maintenance, and related costs.

Oshkosh won the USPS contract in 2021 after a years-long selection process. Controversy over the deal began almost immediately, as many were surprised at the number of gas vehicles. The current Grumman LLVs (long-life vehicles) were only intended to run for 24 years, but at this point, all of them have served much longer than that. A fleet of gas powered mail trucks purchased today could theoretically still be on the road deep into the 2040s, at which point most major automakers will have shifted to EVs.

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