Probably one of the leading factors in the Ram 1500 Ecodiesel's success has been its best-in-class fuel mileage, much to the chagrin of its competitors. Those competitors are not just lying down and taking it though. As you would expect both Ford and Chevy are currently developing vehicles that aim to dethrone the Ram 1500 Ecodiesel from its best-in-class position. How long will the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel be able to hold onto its title, and what will losing that title mean for the truck?
Besides having the best fuel mileage in its class, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is also the only diesel truck in the half ton market. Both Ford and Chevy are trying to take away that title with the development of their own diesel half ton trucks. Though Ford has not said anything official about it, rumor has it that they are working on a diesel engine for the F-150.
Chevy on the other hand, has been more up front about it. They showed off the Colorado Z71 concept at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. This off-road focused version of the Chevy Colorado ran on a 2.8-liter Duramax diesel four-cylinder engine. While most of what was seen in that concept won't make it to production, the diesel engine most definitely will in the 2016 model year Colorado and GMC Canyon.
It is possible that these diesel engines will not have better fuel mileage than the Ecodiesel engine, but I'm sure that Chevy and Ford will be aiming to beat the Ecodiesel.
Ford has another project on the go at the same time, and they are much more forward about this one. Ford has stated publicly that it is working on a F-150 Hybrid. Given that the main obstacle to hybrid trucks in the past has been weight, the F-150's aluminum body is likely a big help in making this truck a success. Ford also is outpacing both GM and Chrysler when it comes to hybrids generally so this project could very well dethrone the Ecodiesel. I'd be surprised if it didn't.
With new competitors on the horizon -- competitors that may take away the Ecodiesel's best-in-class title -- will the Ram 1500 Ecodiesel be able to maintain its momentum and strong sales?