Sunday, March 04, 2018

March snow storm on Antelope Island

A big storm was forecast, and based on the forecast I was going to be able to get to Antelope Island ahead of the storm, be there for it, and drive home the next day after it passed.

One of my main motivations in going was to test my new truck as a tow vehicle. It did great! So much nicer to pull with than the Tundra and almost double the miles per gallon too.

I took cross country skis, hoping to ski along the lake. The snow stuck to my skis and they were useless, so I hiked out to the lake in my cross country ski boots.

What I love about the Great Salt Lake is its other-worldly beauty. Highlights of the overnight in photos:

I love this photo looking west over the Great Salt Lake as the storm approached. I used an iPhone and no filter. 

Also before the storm. The color of the lake was eery and beautiful. 

Buffalo literally right out the door of my RV. They were no more than 200 yards away. All of these are iphone photos, at least you can see what they are. 

Jake did the hike with me Saturday evening, when I took the first two photos on top of this post. The poor boy is getting old and I probably pushed him too hard, though he was happy to be out. 

Sunday morning toward the end of the storm. The snow transformed the landscape. I'd say we got about six inches. This spot was wind blown.  

Winter beach camping, Utah style. 

With Jake in the frame. 

About to head home. 

I sold my Airstream, but it's still in my driveway. Even more snow at my house. I shoveled for a good 90 minutes, the most I've had to shovel all winter. It was a wet snow too. Glad I got it up while it was still fresh. 

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Report: The Missing 2018 Ram 1500 EcoDiesels Are Coming

Or are they?

As of today, March 1, the 2018 Ram 1500 EcoDiesels are missing in action and there is a lot of contradictory information about their status.

Two days ago, auto journalist Tim Esterdahl heard from his contact at Ram who said there are "no issues with the EPA. The 2018 EcoDiesel is certified. They just haven’t hit dealer lots due to the production mix at the factory."

Where have the diesels gone?
Ram told TFLTruck in a story posted on January 22 that that the Ram EcoDiesel “is [available] as a 2017 model year truck. It’s sold alongside current 2018 gas-powered trucks.” In the same story they said that the 2019 updated version of the Ram will have an EcoDiesel available sometime in calendar year 2019--which is later than when other 2019 Rams will be available. The TFL article doesn’t specifically mention 2018 models.

Last October, Automotive News reported that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA--Ram’s parent corporation) had not yet received certification from the EPA for the 2018 EcoDiesels.

This week I did a search online. A few dealers in the country had 2018 EcoDiesels listed as available, but when I contacted them, they didn’t actually have them. Also, most of these listings were clearly using stock photos--with some dealers using the same photo for each supposed listing. When I asked my Utah dealer where the 2018s were, they simply replied, “we haven’t got them yet.” Fair enough, but will they ever?

In 2017 there was a sales hold on this model while FCA/Ram went through a recertification process with the EPA, who had issued a Notice of Violation of the Clean Air Act in early January that year. The EPA gave Ram permission to sell the 2017 model year again in late July. There are a healthy number of 2017 EcoDiesels still available today, and dealers seem to be getting aggressive with discounts.

On forums people report that they were able to order a 2018--as late as late January of 2018--although some of their orders were subsequently cancelled. One guy who ordered one says he was told it’s been made but shipped to storage pending EPA approval. That contradicts what Esterdahl was told by Ram, but seems more believable to me.

It’s possible that Ram manufactured as many as they could through the end of 2017 and they have a pause in place while the 2017 inventory clears, and or they get the 2018 certified. Yet one source of mine insisted that “it’s common knowledge that there will be no 2018 EcoDiesel.”

The unresolved battle with the EPA regarding emissions no doubt is the source of this mystery of the 2018 diesels. I wrote more about the emissions issue in a separate post.

Tim Esterdahl’s new information from Ram is interesting, but it would be nice if there was something definitive from FCA/Ram. If there is no 2018 model year that could impact resale value of this innovative truck. The Ram Trucks website provides no option to add a diesel engine to 2018 Rams.

So where are those 2018 Ram EcoDiesels?

What do you know?

If you have any information on the 2018 EDs, please leave a comment!


Read my History of the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel here.

3/2 Update v3

Yesterday, it looks like just after I posted this, Jared Balfour wrote a post with additional info on the 2018 EcoDiesels that confirms their existence. He also discusses the 2019s.

Today Balfour received confirmation from Ram that the 2018 diesels are EPA certified! Jared has a high degree of confidence that this is the case. Hopefully this will be the final word on certification. I guess the 2018s are unlikely to be released until the 2017s are mostly sold.

Click here to read Balfour's story.