The Ford Raptor big-engine pickup, which environmental advocates love to hate for its poor fuel economy(13 mpg in combined city/highway driving) and its aggressive, shameless statement as a go-buggy, pollutes less than a common leaf blower, according to tests by Edmunds.com.
The Raptor also did better on some emissions tests than the Fiat 500 minicar, Edmunds.com says.
Edmunds has questioned how much good the government’s increasingly strict fuel-economy standards will do to reduce emissions. Here’s Edmunds.com’s summary of the pollution report pitting two different leafblowers against the Raptor and the Fiat:
The tests found that a Ryobi four-stroke leaf blower kicked out almost seven times more oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and 13.5 times more carbon monoxide (CO) than the Raptor, which InsideLine.com once called “the ultimate Michigan mudslinger.” An Echo two-stroke leaf blower performed even worse, generating 23 times CO and nearly300 times more non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC) than the Raptor.
“The hydrocarbon emissions from a half-hour of yard work with the two-stroke leaf blower are about the same as a 3,900-mile drive from Texas to Alaska in a Raptor,” said Jason Kavanagh, engineering editor at Edmunds.com. “As ridiculous as it may sound, it is more ‘green’ to ditch your yard equipment and find a way to blow leaves using a Raptor.”
The InsideLine.com test also found that the Raptor, which was chosen to represent the extreme heavy-duty end of the light-vehicle spectrum, actually reduced the amount of hydrocarbons in the air in the test lab. The ambient air measured prior to the test contained 2.821 parts per million (ppm) of total hydrocarbons, and the amount of total hydrocarbons coming out the Raptor’s tailpipe measured 2.639 ppm.
InsideLine also tested a subcompact 2012 Fiat 500 for comparison and found that the Fiat actually emitted more hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen but dispatched less carbon monoxide than the Raptor. But like the Raptor, the 500 tested much cleaner than the leaf blowers.