Just how 'green' is a Ford Super Duty truck?

While not electric vehicles, Ford trucks are getting greener with the use of recycled aluminum material for parts and recycled plastic for seats.

Matt York/AP/File
Ford trucks are displayed at a dealership in Gilbert, Ariz.

Most buyers won't consider a truck's environmental impact when considering a heavy duty hauler. That's a given.

Yet, while most buyers may not consider the idea, that doesn't mean the lumbering haulers aren't changing.

The idea a decade ago that truck buyers would swap their thirsty V-8s for turbocharged V-6s was heresy.

Now, truck buyers have opted for boosted V-6 engines in more Fords than any other powertrain option, even with displacements as small as 2.7 liters.

Progress, they say, doesn't happen without deviation.*

New for 2017, Ford's Super Duty deviates a little from the script when it comes to green, including:

• Closed loop recycling for aluminum bodies. According to Ford, roughly 20 million pounds of aluminum is scrapped during the stamping process for F-150 and Super Duty cabs. That scrap is sent back to its suppliers for recasting in an effort to reduce scrap to zero.

• Recycled plastic for cloth seats. In work- and cloth-trimmed trucks, Ford is using Revere Plastics to supply seat materials made from recycled plastic.

• Old jeans for sound deadening. Ford is using shredded jeans for sound deadening material in its trucks and cars.

• Rice husks for some wiring sheaths. A polymer composite created from rice husks is used for some wiring sheaths in Ford cars and trucks.

• Power Stroke diesel is B20 biodiesel ready. The truck can run on the conventional biodiesel standard that's a 20-percent blend.

• Roughly 20 mpg for highway hauls. Officials at Ford are mum on the Super Duty's fuel economy.

And, legally, Ford isn't required to say anything about its efficiency because it's so large and heavy that conventional EPA ratings aren't required.

However, they have said overall range with a 48 gallon tank is roughly 1,000 miles—or about 20 mpg, which is a vast improvement over prior trucks' low-teens or single-digit returns.

It may not be ground-breaking, but it's a start.

*Frank Zappa said that.

This article first appeared at GreenCarReports.

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