New Package

2021 Ram 1500 gets new, low-cost Snow Plow Prep package

Ram is making a new Snow Plow Prep package available for the 2021 Ram 1500.

Photo courtesy of Ram

Ram is adding a new Snow Plow Prep package to the offerings list of the Ram 1500 pickup truck for the 2021 model year. This fills a hole in the automaker's lineup, fulfilling a customer need that was able to be met by other brands' regard duty trucks.

"As part of Ram's commitment to continuous improvement within the segment, we now offer a Snow Plow Prep package for Ram 1500 customers," said Reid Bigland, Head of Ram Brand. "Ram has taken a larger presence in the commercial vehicle market, and this offering is the latest expansion of our hard-working trucks."

2021 Ram 1500The plow is sold seperately.Photo courtesy of Ram

The new Ram 1500 Snow Plow Prep option is available for $195 and includes a 220-amp alternator, truck-side plow wiring harness and a rear power sliding window with defroster. The active air dam is removed when this option is selected to make way for plow mounts.

This new package is available on 2021 Ram 1500 Tradesman, Big Horn and Laramie 4x4 models that are equipped with the 5.7-liter HEMI V8, 5.7-liter HEMI eTorque V8, or 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine.

The plow, mounts and controller are all sold separately and are available through several manufacturers.

The Ram 1500 Snow Plow Prep package will be available later this year.

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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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