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Chevrolet, GMC Expand CNG Offerings

Supplier News

Bi-fuel HD trucks and dedicated CNG passenger vans can trim ownership costs.

| October 7, 2013

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Chevrolet and GMC will offer new bi-fuel versions of the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty trucks and all-new dedicated compressed natural gas versions of the 2014 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size passenger vans next year.

The vehicles were announced at the Green Fleet Conference & Expo, which focuses on clean technologies and alternative-fuel vehicles for fleet operations.

“With these new vehicles, General Motors offers the most comprehensive lineup of manufacturer-engineered, validated and warranted CNG vehicles, helping fleet managers manage their budget and reduce their carbon footprint,” said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president, GM Fleet and Commercial Sales. “Natural gas is less costly at the pump and significantly reduces carbon dioxide emissions, compared to other liquid fuels.”

The bi-fuel versions of Silverado HD and Sierra HD – which are equipped to run on either gasoline or natural gas – expand the range of available configurations to 2500HD and 3500HD pickup models in all cab styles and 2WD and 4WD drivetrains.

The 2014 Express and Savana passenger vans join a dedicated CNG lineup that includes cargo versions of the vehicles.

The CNG fuel tanks and complementing fuel systems used in the trucks and vans are installed by GM’s tier one supplier at a secondary location and delivered to customers from Chevrolet and GMC dealerships. The vehicles are fully warranted and validated by GM.

“These vehicles meet the rigorous GM standards for safety, reliability and durability,” said Peper. “They’re backed by a comprehensive five-year/100,000-mile transferable powertrain limited warranty, too, meaning we back these vehicles for the long haul.”

All major components associated with the CNG systems have GM service part numbers for broad availability throughout the largest dealer network in the United States.

Production for the bi-fuel trucks and CNG vans is scheduled to begin early next year. The order and delivery process for the vehicles is the same as ordering any other vehicle option. Orders will be accepted closer to the start of production.

Bi-fuel trucks deliver heavy-duty capability

New for 2015, the HD trucks feature fully boxed frame assemblies that support leading capabilities, including:
•?    Segment-leading maximum payload of 4,018 pounds
•?    Segment-leading conventional towing rating of up to 13,000 pounds (with factory-installed, frame-mounted box-tube hitch)

A short-long arm/torsion bar front suspension is used on all models and features forged steel upper control arms and precision-machined cast iron lower control arms. Five different torsion bar rates support five different front gross axle weight ratings to help stabilize the range of trim heights of various models under load – including snow plows – while enhancing appearance, handling, durability, tire wear and alignment.

The trucks’ 6.0L V-8 engine features special hardened valves and valve seats that enables it to run on CNG or gasoline. Separate fuel tanks enable the driver to switch between fuels at the push of a button. The system automatically switches to gasoline when the CNG tank is depleted.

Using both fuels, the trucks have an approximate total driving range of 650 miles.

CNG vans offer room for passengers and more

The new, 2014 CNG versions of the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana passenger vans join CNG cargo vans that GM has offered for several years. The passenger vans offer seating for up to 15 people, plus room for their cargo.

The vehicles are built with the same gaseous fuel-ready 6.0L V-8 as the bi-fuel Silverado and Sierra trucks, but equipped with dedicated CNG fuel systems – available in three- or four-tank models on cargo vans and exclusively with the three-tank design on the passenger van models.

The new CNG passenger vans offer an approximately 200-mile driving range, as do three-tank versions of the cargo vans. With the four-tank configuration, the range on the cargo vans extends to approximately 300 miles.

Why CNG?

Compressed natural gas is one of the cleanest-burning alternative fuels, compared to petroleum products. Natural gas-powered vehicles show an average 80-percent reduction in ozone-forming emissions, compared to gasoline combustion.

More than 99 percent of the natural gas used in the U.S. comes from domestic or other North American sources. CNG helps customers significantly reduce the environmental impact of their vehicles and its abundance makes it a viable economic alternative for drivers living in areas with easy access to CNG filling stations, with costs roughly half that of gasoline. For many customers, the incremental investment in CNG vehicles can be recouped within a few years and the lower cost of the fuel enables a significant reduction in daily operating costs.  

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