DETROIT (WWJ) – General Motors’ first natural gas powered pickup trucks are set to launch next month.
The unique bi-fuel versions of the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500 HD extended cab pickup trucks will be switchable, and run on both gasoline and natural gas. They will only be offered to fleet and retail customers.
“The bi-fuel Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra provide customers with choices in advanced propulsion technology, and because CNG is a clean-burning, domestically produced fuel, it has wide appeal,“ said Ed Peper, general manager, GM Fleet and Commercial Operations.
Natural gas is much less expensive than gasoline, but there are few refueling stations, and range has been an issue. That’s why GM is limiting sales to retail customers and fleets.
The ability to switch between natural gas and gasoline adds flexibility. GM says the vehicles will come with a 6.0-liter Vortec V8 engine that will seamlessly transfer between the two fuels, and be available with the choice of standard or long box, and a choice of two or four wheel drive.
The company has not yet announced a price.
The vehicles will be made at GM’s Fort Wayne truck plant, and set to a supplier for conversion.
Honda has been one of the prime proponents of natural gas powered vehicles, but with rising gas prices, other companies are quickly getting into the business.
Ford offers kits to convert pickups to run on natural gas. Chrysler is reportedly going to have an announcement of its own on natural gas powered pickup trucks tomorrow.
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