The 2013 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra 2500 HD bi-fuel pickup trucks are now in full production at the Fort Wayne, Ind., plant.
This follows the production start of the duo’s rival, the Ram 2500 CNG, end of October.
In these bi-fuel versions, the Vortec 6.0-liter V8 engine found under the hood of both the Silverado HD and Sierra 2500 HD runs either on gasoline or compressed natural gas (CNG) and seamlessly switches between the two fuels without affecting performance.
Combined, the CNG and gasoline tanks lend these GM trucks a range of 650 miles, which is, according to GM, the longest standard bi-fuel range of any original equipment automaker.
The key in this last sentence is “standard” as the Ram will push its range to 966 total miles, but only when equipped with the optional 35-gallon gasoline fuel tank.
“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.
These GM trucks are equipped with a type-3 single-tank CNG system which GM says is designed to retain more bed space than any competing bi-fuel truck from an original equipment manufacturer.
The CNG 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.”
GM explained the production process as follow: these bi-fuel pickups are ordered from the factory, sent to 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.
Offered both to fleet and retail customers, the bi-fuel option is priced $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. Hence, 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.
GM also said the vehicle meets all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) emission certification requirements.