General Motors, like Chrysler, will offer just one basic model for its bi-fueler: a 2500 HD Extended Cab, though it can be had with a short or long box and two- or four-wheel drive. It’ll be sold as a Chevrolet Silverado or GMC Sierra, built in Fort Wayne, In., with a Vortec 6-litre V-8 and then shipped to nearby Union City where Impco Automotive will install the CNG equipment.
GM people emphasize that this is not an upfit, because Impco is a Tier One supplier whose precise manufacturing processes are in synch with GM’s. Impco will install a Bosch CNG fuel system and mount the tanks in the bed, attached to the frame, not the bed floor. The truck has been crash-tested multiple times to ensure integrity of the gas system, GM says.
The Vortec engine starts on gasoline only and will run on either fuel, though it won’t start on CNG. The CNG tank holds 17 GGEs (64 litres) and the gasoline tank holds 36 gal (136 litres), for a sizeable 650-mile (1046 km) range. The CNG tank has an aluminum liner and a composite wrap for strength. The CNG system weighs 450 lb (204 kg). The truck will tow 9500 to 15,000 lb (4309 to 6804 kg).
GM hasn’t finalized pricing on the bi-fuel system, but will begin taking orders in April. Production starts late this year.
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