Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) CNG flex-fuel GM trucks

Published on November 10th, 2012 | by Jo Borrás

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GM Begins CNG Truck Production

CNG flex-fuel GM trucks

After showing off a CNG-powered Chevy van at auto shows for the last few years (the same CNG-powered Chevy van), GM has announced that production of their CNG/gasoline “bi-fuel” commercial trucks has – finally! – begun.

The new bi-fuel CNG trucks, powered by a 6.0 liter version of the company’s OHV “small-block” V8, will be rolling off GM’s Fort Wayne, IN assembly line, and sell for an $11,000 price premium compared to single-fuel trucks. This, of course, is before any applicable alternative-fuel tax credits are applied. GM claims that their bi-fuel system will allow drivers to seamlessly switch between the two fuels without negatively affecting performance. The CNG and gasoline tanks have a combined range of 650 miles, the longest standard range of any OEM vehicle. “Customers are choosing our bi-fuel trucks because they provide the same high level of GM truck performance and versatility but can also help businesses control their fuel costs and reduce their carbon footprint,” said Ed Peper, General Motors U.S. vice president of Fleet and Commercial Sales.

Customers will be able to begin ordering the new bi-fuel CNG trucks from Chevy dealers this week. For more information, you can check out the official GM press release, below.




GMC and Chevrolet Bi-Fuel Pickup Production Begins

DETROIT – Production of the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra 2500 HD bi-fuel pickup trucks is underway in Fort Wayne, Ind., and the pickups are available for order by fleet and retail customers through Chevrolet and GMC dealers.

The Silverado HD and Sierra 2500 HD Vortec 6.0L V8 engine runs on gasoline or compressed natural gas (CNG) and seamlessly switches between the two fuels without affecting performance. The CNG and gasoline tanks have a combined range of 650 miles, the longest standard bi-fuel range of any original equipment automaker.

“Customers are choosing our bi-fuel trucks because they provide the same high level of GM truck performance and versatility but can also help businesses control their fuel costs and reduce their carbon footprint,” said Ed Peper, General Motors U.S. vice president of Fleet and Commercial Sales.

The Type-3 single-tank CNG system in the Silverado HD and Sierra 2500 HD is designed to retain more bed space than any competing bi-fuel truck from an Original Equipment Manufacturer. The pickups are available in standard and long-box and two-or-four wheel drive in the extended cab models.

“At Chesapeake, we are converting our fleet of more than 5,000 vehicles to run on natural gas, and having options from GMC and Chevy is critical to help us reach our conversion goal,” said Nate Pumphrey, Chesapeake Energy Corp. director of Fleet Operations. “Following our full conversion, we will save $11 million to $12 million annually on fuel costs.

“As a fleet manager, the stable price of natural gas is another major benefit that helps me budget more accurately, and the fuel’s reduced emissions align with Chesapeake’s commitment to environmental excellence,” he said.

The bi-fuel pickups are ordered from the factory, sent to the Tier One supplier IMPCO for installation of the CNG bi-fuel delivery and storage system and then delivered by GM transportation to the dealer or to an upfitter for customer-ordered modifications.

The bi-fuel option is priced at $11,000 above the suggested retail price of the base vehicle. The entire gaseous fuel system meets GM’s strict quality, durability and safety testing. The trucks will be covered by GM’s three-year, 36,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty and five-year, 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and vehicle emissions warranty. The vehicle meets all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) emission certification requirements.

To find more information about advanced propulsion vehicles available, visit gmfleet.com, or for timely responses to fleet-related questions, join the GM Fleet and Commercial Customer Service LinkedIn group.

Source: GM, via Autoblog.

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About the Author

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the Important Media network. You can find me on Twitter, Skype (jo.borras) or Google+.



  • Curly

    What is so new about a truck running on CNG? Back in the 1960s and 70s many a farmer ran trucks and tractors on LPG, they did not have CNG back then.

    • http://gravatar.com/zivbnd zivbnd

      What is new is that they think you will pay $11,000 for it. The price of this conversion is a pity, this would be a great way to start shifting demand for work vehicles to nat gas instead of gasoline, but the cost is prohibitive for most people or businesses. What are the chances that early adopters will help build demand and reduce the price? Slim? None?

      • http://importantmedia.org/members/joborras/ Jo Borras

        It doesn’t take much math to figure out that the net cost to businesses will be heavily subsidized, and several companies will be able to figure out that they’ll make that $11K back in terms of fuel savings (and fuel cost stability!) and budgeting – especially large construction firms that operate on 1-2% margins who can’t afford to get their futures predictions wrong.

  • http://www.highwaydriverleasing.com/ Walter Newman

    This would really benefit highway truck transport. With the high cost of diesel fuel, CNG would help cut costs where maintenance is lacking. Current equipment costs and demand for temporary truck drivers is pretty high.

    • Curly

      But then the government will start taxing the CNG just like they do diesel and the cost will not be nearly as cheep as it is now. If they don’t apply the road tax to the CNG that is on gasoline and diesel the roadways and bridges will become unsafe or they construction and maintenance cost will have to come from the treasure therefore taxes will go up for everybody.

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