Chevrolet and GMC will offer new bi-fuel versions of the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty trucks 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.
Production for the bi-fuel trucks 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.
New for 2015, the HD trucks feature fully boxed frame assemblies that support leading capabilities, including maximum payloads of 4,018 lb and a conventional towing rating of up to 13,000 lb (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.
New dedicated CNG versions of the 2014 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size passenger vans will also be available next year.