Ford F-150 pickup named Green Truck of the Year

This article was originally published at USA TODAY by .

LOS ANGELES — In a surprise, Ford’s durable F-150 pickup has beat out a trio of new diesel-powered models to be named Green Truck of the Year.

The announcement was made Friday at the San Antonio Auto Truck Show in Texas a few hours after the Chevrolet Volt was named Green Car of the Year at the big Los Angeles Auto Show going on here.

15FordF150_17The Green Car Journal , which hands out the award, cited efforts to lighten the F-150 as the chief reason for its being named to the award. Ford switched from steel to aluminum for many key body parts on the F-150 to reduce its weight by up to 700 pounds in a bid to boost gas mileage.

Even though the lighter F-150 has been on sale for months, the Journal also cited a new feature for 2016 that gives it more environmental stature. It’s a “gaseous fuel prep package” that will allow it to burn natural gas or propane.

Still, it’s interesting that a conventional truck beat out three finalists, newer trucks both with diesel engines designed to save fuel: Chevrolet Colorado Duramax and its corporate cousin, GMC Canyon Duramax and the new Nissan Titan XD. Toyota’s newTacoma was also a contender.

In the commercial truck category, the Ram ProMaster City won.

“The added benefit of higher fuel economy, lower carbon emissions, and greater environmental compatibility offered by the Ford F-150 and Ram ProMaster City mean buyers truly get more than they pay for,” said Green Car Journal publisher Ron Cogan in a statement.

Follow Chris Woodyard on Twitter at @chriswoodyard

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