Monday, March 5, 2012

Chrysler, GM to Develop Natural Gas Powered Pickups

CNG is the new black.
[please don't try to do metaphors -ed]

From the Wall Street Journal:

Natural Gas to Power Pickups 
U.S. auto makers are introducing pickup trucks powered by natural gas as they look to catch the growing wave of interest in the fuel as an alternative to gasoline.

On Tuesday, Chrysler Group LLC plans to disclose it will build the first production-line pickup truck powered by natural gas. The auto maker is promising to build at least 2,000 heavy-duty Ram bi-fuel trucks that run on a combination of compressed natural gas and gasoline starting in June.

General Motors Co. on Monday plans to disclose it will offer bi-fuel Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500 pickups in the fourth quarter. The trucks will be built by GM and sent to a supplier that will retrofit them to use compressed natural-gas tanks.

In 2009, the American Gas Association and America's Natural Gas Alliance met with a variety of auto makers to urge them to build complete CNG-powered pickups at the factory.
Chrysler, which was put under the management control of Italian auto maker Fiat SpA in 2009, took on the challenge.

"As a result of our partnership with Fiat, we are able to get to market with this as quickly as we have to start testing to see the future of this CNG technology," said Chrysler Ram chief Fred Diaz. Chrysler will sell the Ram 2500 pickups to fleet operators or natural-gas explorers.

Houston natural-gas explorer Apache Corp. has been prodding auto makers to build CNG vehicles for years. Since 2009, the company has converted a quarter of its 1,000 U.S. vehicle fleet to CNG, and expects to increase that to 80%. Chief executive Steven Farris drives a Chevy Avalanche that was retrofitted to run on CNG....MORE
We have a collection of 80 CNG vehicle stories from just the last two months, this stuff is happening now.