The 2012 Work Truck Show is going on in Indianapolis this week, and that brings with it a helping of alternative-powered truck news.

The first is General Motor's news about two new bi-fuel, CNG- and gas-powered trucks, the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado and the 2013 GMC Sierra 2500 HD. Both of these vehicles can burn either fuel in a Vortec 6.0-liter V8 engine, and GM promises that the on-the-go switch between the fuel types is "seamless." The trucks will be available towards the end of this year, with orders starting in April and, because they are given their dual-fuel nature by a Tier One supplier, will come with GM's three-year, 36,000-mile limited warranty as well as the five-year, 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty. GM has other CNG-powered work vehicles available, like the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana cargo vans that use the same engine.

Also in Indianapolis, the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) will be on hand to promote autogas (propane) as a cheaper, greener and domestic alternative to gasoline. PERC says that vehicles that burn propane, "emit 12 percent less carbon dioxide, 20 percent less nitrogen oxide, and up to 60 percent less carbon monoxide than gas-powered vehicles." PERC will showcase some vehicles from Roush that use that company's CleanTech propane autogas systems, including a Ford E-350 delivery vehicle. There's more information after the jump.




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2013 GMC and Chevrolet Bi-Fuel Pickups Unveiled
Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra gaseous option available in late 2012


2012-03-05

DETROIT – Chevrolet and GMC today announced details of General Motors' bi-fuel 2013 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500 HD extended cab pickup trucks. Fleet and retail consumers can place orders beginning this April.

The vehicles include a compressed natural gas (CNG) capable Vortec 6.0L V8 engine that seamlessly transitions between CNG and gasoline fuel systems. Combined, the trucks offer a range of more than 650 miles. The Silverado and Sierra will be available in standard and long box, with either two- or four-wheel drive.

"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. "The addition of a full-size bi-fuel pickup truck to GM's fleet portfolio is another milestone in putting the customer first in everything we do – by offering great products, innovative solutions and a great customer experience."

GM is the only manufacturer to offer a single-source option for its gaseous fuel vehicles. The bi-fuel trucks are built with a specially designed engine, the fuel system is installed by GM's Tier One supplier and the completed vehicle is delivered directly to the customer. This process makes ordering the bi-fuel option as seamless and efficient as a standard vehicle.

"The bi-fuel truck provides businesses with added re-fueling flexibility and eases consumer range concerns that typically come with CNG, all while reducing emissions and controlling costs," said Joyce Mattman, director, GM Commercial Product and Specialty Vehicles. "This turnkey ordering process, combined with the best warranty in the industry for a commercial product, makes our bi-fuel truck an attractive option, especially for commercial customers."

The bi-fuel commercial 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, meeting all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) emission certification requirements. It is the most extensive warranty offered by any manufacturer on commercial products.

The trucks are built in Fort Wayne, Ind., and then sent to the Tier One supplier for installation of the CNG bi-fuel delivery and storage system. The entire gaseous fuel system meets GM's strict quality, durability, safety testing and is covered under the extensive warranty.

To find more information about advanced propulsion vehicles available, visit gmfleet.com, or for timely responses to fleet-related questions, join the GM Fleet and Commercial Customer Service LinkedIn group.

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General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM's brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.


Propane Autogas Trucks Saving Bucks at Work Truck Show

Propane Council demonstrates economic, environmental benefits of domestic fuel


WASHINGTON (March 5, 2012) - The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) will showcase the lean and green benefits of propane autogas as it displays trucks, mowers, and fuel dispensers at the 2012 Work Truck Show, North America's largest work truck event, in Indianapolis today through Thursday.

PERC will exhibit beginning March 6 in booth No. 5191 propane autogas vehicles that cost less to operate while providing the same horsepower, torque, and range as their gasoline counterparts.

Propane burns much cleaner than gasoline. Propane autogas vehicles emit 12 percent less carbon dioxide, 20 percent less nitrogen oxide, and up to 60 percent less carbon monoxide than gas-powered vehicles.

"Propane autogas is an ideal alternative fuel for fleet managers seeking to lower their refueling costs while also meeting their environmental goals," said Roy Willis, president and CEO of PERC. "There's no better place than the Work Truck Show to display the cost-saving and air-quality advantages that propane autogas offers."

PERC will display several vehicles with Roush CleanTech propane autogas systems, including a Ford E-450 cutaway box truck and a 2011 E-350 cutaway van. There will also be an Exmark commercial mower, and visitors can drive the big General Motors 4500 cutaway van by CleanFuel USA in the show's Green Truck Ride-and-Drive.

On March 6, PERC, CleanFuel USA, and Roush CleanTech will host the "Propane Autogas: Green, Clean, Economical" seminar to discuss product availability, refueling options, and the lean and green benefits of using domestically produced propane autogas.

PERC operates one of the world's largest propane research and development programs, working with original equipment manufacturers to fund new propane autogas engines and vehicles. Visit autogasusa.org for videos about propane autogas and more about PERC.


ROUSH CleanTech Bringing Propane Autogas to 2012 Work Truck Show

Propane autogas vehicles, Green Truck Association goals, new certifications highlighted


LIVONIA, MICH. (March 5, 2012) - ROUSH CleanTech will be exhibiting, sponsoring and speaking at the 2012 National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) Work Truck Show and Green Truck Summit this week in Indianapolis to highlight the company's growing propane autogas product lines, partnerships and certifications for the work truck industry.

Displaying one of Frito Lay's propane autogas Ford E-350 cutaway delivery vehicles in the Propane Pavilion (booth No. 5191) and with vehicles spread throughout the show, the company will use the event as a platform to feature new up-fitter partnerships, engine and vehicle certifications, and product availability that has developed since last year.

"ROUSH CleanTech saw tremendous growth in 2011, and continues to fortify product quality, secure industry partnerships and obtain important certifications to make it easier than ever for fleets across America to run on propane autogas," said Joe Thompson, president of ROUSH CleanTech. "The $1.50 to $2.00 per gallon difference in price between gasoline and propane autogas makes now an excellent time to switch." Thompson will be in the ROUSH CleanTech booth to discuss how propane autogas trucks and vans offer comparable horsepower, torque and towing capability to gasoline counterparts.

During a Green Truck Summit educational session on March 6 called "Propane Autogas: Green, Clean, Economical," Todd Mouw, ROUSH CleanTech's vice president of sales and marketing, will discuss product availability, refueling options, and the economical and environmental benefits of propane autogas. In the Green Truck Ride-and-Drive, attendees can get behind the wheel of a Ford E-450 box truck, fueled with a ROUSH CleanTech dedicated liquid propane autogas system.

To give work truck professionals more options for customizing their alternative fuel vehicles, ROUSH CleanTech continues to develop relationships and work with specialty equipment installers and up-fitters including Knapheide, National Fleet Services of Ohio, Dejana, Monroe Truck Equipment, Reading Truck Body and more. Knapheide will feature a ROUSH CleanTech vehicle fueled by propane autogas in their booth, No. 3739.

As president of the NTEA Green Truck Association, Mouw has worked to position the commercial truck industry as a national leader in adopting domestic alternative fuel products by using companies, people and technologies that already exist.

"We have laid the foundation for progress and now look to leverage the bright minds involved to help the policymakers in Washington, D.C. understand how important the work truck industry is to realizing our country's goals of energy independence, creating green jobs, and helping fleets reduce their operating costs," Mouw said.

The California Air Resources Board recently certified the 6.8-liter V10 engine, used in the new Blue Bird Vision school bus. This engine will also be used in the Ford F-450/F-550 and F-650 super duty chassis cabs, designed to suit a wide range of work truck applications including dump, landscape, flatbed, construction, waste, utility and freight.

And last month, ROUSH CleanTech's products were accepted as part of the National Joint Powers Alliance's (NJPA) contract, allowing any business or government entity in the United States that is publicly funded to adopt propane autogas trucks and vans for their fleets in a simplified process.

"This is an excellent method for government agencies to purchase propane autogas vehicles without going through the bid process in their state," explained Joe Hughes, alternative fuel specialist for Northside Ford and Gresham Ford, the dealerships through which the vehicles can be ordered. "The procurement process is arduous; it takes manpower and time – sometimes exceeding 60 days. By being a part of the NJPA contract, fleet managers can purchase a vehicle virtually overnight after gaining appropriate funding approval."

ROUSH CleanTech has forged ahead with Altoona Testing certification, too. This testing evaluates safety, structural integrity and durability, reliability, performance, noise, fuel economy and emissions, and is required for new transit models prior to purchase with federal funds. Completed and published test results are expected this spring.

"These stamps of approval open the door for work truck fleet managers to reduce their carbon footprint while continuing to offer efficient and affordable services to their customers," said Mouw. "ROUSH CleanTech's propane autogas vehicles make it easy and economical to run green, which is leading to increased customer adoption."

About ROUSH CleanTech: Based in Livonia, Mich., ROUSH CleanTech offers dedicated liquid propane autogas fuel systems for a variety of light- and medium-duty Ford vans and trucks, and for the Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision and Micro Bird G5 school bus. Currently offered through authorized Ford dealerships around the country, the ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel system delivers the same factory Ford performance characteristics and serviceability with a 5-year/60,000-mile limited warranty. Customers can lower operating costs significantly while reducing vehicle emissions. Complete details on ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas offerings can be found online at ROUSHcleantech.com or by calling 800.59.ROUSH.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 29 Comments
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 5 Hours Ago
      Very true DaveMart. There's obviously someone who wouldn't want CNG pumps happening and they deliver gasoline to most of the gas stations in the US - and the shear scale of what would be needed. The other side of all this is that while CNG prices are really low right now - several of the drillers are dropping NG drilling altogether while others have announced they are shutting their wells in (cause their loosing money at current prices) - the current CNG prices don't seem sustainable - if CNG prices bounce back up in a year or two (which I'd guess they would) then all the money spent on the infrastructure or the vehicles wouldn't be looking like such a good investment. World prices for liquified natural gas are 5 to 6 times US domestic prices for natural gas - my guess is that our domestic supplies will start finding a way offshore (too much money to be made there) and bring the price up over time as well. It doesn't seem like anyone wants to take the bet on a big scale, so far. If, in 2 years though, NG prices are still this low then it would be off to the races IMHO.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      fracking green
        reconfreya
        • 5 Hours Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Eco-Dork, so glad you don't use your photo any more, thanks
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Im glad that it got 2 tanks.
        • 5 Hours Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        I live in the Austin area, and the only place I've seen that's anywhere near here (open to the public anyway) is in San Antonio. That's not to say that there isn't another station closer, but I just haven't seen it.
          Ron Wagner
          • 5 Hours Ago
          City of Austin has it for $2.20 a Gallon equivalent. See the cngnow.com site for a map of all stations and last reported prices.
        EZEE
        • 5 Hours Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Is CNG easy to find? For my Flex Fuel Ranger, I pretty much know of all of the locations in Florida I can find ethanol. The turnpike has a bunch of gas stations, and a location in Bartow.... Would be cool if CNG was more common...
          Letstakeawalk
          • 5 Hours Ago
          @EZEE
          These trucks are being marketed specifically to the Work Truck and Fleet market. It's not very difficult to set up a central CNG fueling depot to handle these trucks on your own premises. Here's some interesting info provided by (*shock* gasp!) and oil company: "In the U.S. today, there are fewer than 1,000 CNG vehicle fueling stations, compared to about 159,000 for gasoline. Only half of the CNG stations are open to the public. Massive refueling capacity expansion is required to ensure ready access to fuel supply for potential CNG and LNG vehicle drivers. Expanding refueling capacity is expensive – adding CNG refueling infrastructure to an existing gasoline station costs about $500,000 to $700,000 per station. It would cost $8-12 billion to provide CNG at 10 percent of the gasoline stations in the U.S." http://www.powerincooperation.com/EN/Pages/natural-gas-vehicles.html
      • 2 Years Ago
      well remember when diesel cars first came out?....then they jacked the price of diesel OVER the price of gas (even though its less refined)....with china and other countries interersted in north american natural gas will the same thing happen to natural gas prices?....or will gasoline get so expensive that it will STILL be cheaper even with higher prices than now?
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sorry for the double - Chrysler will be announcing something similiar with RAM pickups tomorrow. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203986604577257770238882852.html#articleTabs%3Darticle If big oil would let this move forward (and the infrastructure was funded) this could flatten the plug-in and hydrogen vehicle push's as the fuel price would be so low - currently.
        JakeY
        • 5 Hours Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        "If big oil would let this move forward (and the infrastructure was funded) this could flatten the plug-in and hydrogen vehicle push's as the fuel price would be so low - currently." I don't agree, there's no price tag attached to it, but I would imagine it is not cheap. Plus this only applies to full size work trucks, for which there is a smaller market. And the fuel price isn't cheaper than electricity if you figure in the efficiency difference. I don't see any indication of this changing the stagnant position CNG vehicles hold in the car market. Perhaps it'll become even more viable for fleets, but that's about all the change I can see from this kind of car. They need to build a car more competitive with the Civic GX for CNG cars to be viable, but it seems like that market is quite small even with low prices (the 2012 GX starts at only $26k, but there is next to no enthusiasm for it despite that).
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      About a $15k premium I believe, so that you will never, ever get the money back in fuel savings. Fiat do CNG and bi-fuel for around a $3k premium in Europe. Come on, Chrysler!
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nice. CNG is a nice strategy for dealing with heavy-duty transport for now. It will work for some 30 years or so. (The "100 years supply" stuff is silly over-statement . . . that is just at current use levels and just a guess at the reserve supply.)
        marcopolo
        • 5 Hours Ago
        @Spec
        @Spec, "The "100 years supply" stuff is silly over-statement..." That statement implies you know the exact total of reserves, explored and unexplored, you can also accurately predict extraction technology developments. Since no other reputable pundit would venture such an opinion, perhaps you would care to explain the basis for your pessimism?
      Peter
      • 2 Years Ago
      No happy Dans on this behemoth. Must be a slow news day for ABG
        Sasparilla Fizz
        • 5 Hours Ago
        @Peter
        You get the price of the fuel back low enough (like natural gas) and big SUV's will start looking okay again to most of the population...
        EZEE
        • 5 Hours Ago
        @Peter
        it occurs to me we need a second classification - the Angry Dan. This would range from mildly displeased, to Torches and Pitchforks (was going to say 'Going Postal' but figured himself might not like that). :( Big :( Not Aero :( fossil fuel :( expensive :| performs well (as a truck) 4 Angry Dans - Sharpening Pitchforks, rage building.
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 5 Hours Ago
          @EZEE
          let's call it wrath of God instead : ) the meek shall inherit the earth. and the oversized monster pickup drivers will be terminated
      DaveMart
      • 5 Hours Ago
      Yeah, I think present US gas prices are unsustainable. Basically gas prices were high, so a lot of drilling took place together with some financial jiggery-pokery as spec companies drilled, declared large reserves on the basis of slight evidence, and in shales particularly rapidly cashed out before the truly huge declines in individual wells hit. Low prices now are rapidly hitting the rig counts, and mean higher prices down the road in my view. However, CNG is common in Italy which runs on the much higher world gas prices than those of the US, although of course petrol is much more expensive too. I don't really believe in natural gas as I think that the supposedly huge reserves of 100 years in the US are pretty speculative, and running any substantial part of the massive US private vehicle fleet would rapidly reduce them. Fellow geeks may find the following discussion of reserves interesting: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/future_tense/2011/12/is_there_really_100_years_worth_of_natural_gas_beneath_the_united_states_.single.html Just because something is not a universal solution does not mean it can't be useful though, and it would be good to see more CNG pumps in the US, where big rigs can't run on batteries, and certainly several million private individuals as well as delivery firms etc would find them useful. For private individuals I am thinking of areas like the mid-west, where although the total population is not high, large distances make battery vehicle problematic and high petrol prices are hitting folk hard.
      buckeye
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks like a good deal until they road tax it up to the price of gas!
        DaveMart
        • 5 Hours Ago
        @buckeye
        With equal tax in the US it would still cost way less per gallon equivalent.
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 2 Years Ago
      The big hurdle for widespread adoption of CNG is the refueling infrastructure (which is expensive) and Big Oil won't want it put in place (cause it means less gasoline and diesel sales) - beyond that anyone have a handle on what the existing CNG price is in gasoline equivalency? The Postal System should be running all its vehicles on this stuff (at facilities that support CNG delivery) considering all the money they would save. I'm guessing its $2 a gallon or less, but that's just a guess. Anyone know the real number currently?
        Ron Wagner
        • 5 Hours Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        Truck stops will be carrying it because Peterbilt and Cummins are coming out with 20 liter engines next year.
        DaveMart
        • 5 Hours Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        Its simply not that expensive to put in CNG at garages. There are large numbers in Europe. Pakistan manages it, but perhaps the US can't? The aversion to any infrastructure spend in the US is downright weird.
        marcopolo
        • 5 Hours Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        @Sasparilla Fizz You are a weird mixture of contradictions. It's really hard to blame 'Big Oil' for preventing the sale of CNG, while castigating 'Big Oil' for drilling for NG. Many countries have opted for CNG more popular stablemate LPG. However, despite less tax, cheaper price, and even govt' incentives, and excellent infrastructure and distribution the rate of LPG/CNG acceptance among car owners is relatively small. The principle use is still for large commercial vehicles and taxis. No conspiracy, just customer preference. The same gas stations sell both fuels.
      JakeY
      • 2 Years Ago
      With no sticker price attached to it, it's impossible to judge its practicality.
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