General Motors Co.'s full-sized cargo vans are now offered with a fuel option for compressed natural gas. The fully integrated CNG fuel system option uses GM's 6.0-liter V-8 engine and is priced at $15,910. This option is offered on the 2011 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana, which recently debuted at the Green Fleet Conference in San Diego.
In a statement, Beth Stanek, GM's director of federal environmental and energy regulatory affairs, said that natural gas is an “abundant and clean alternative fuel.”
He added that when looking at the current CNG fuel rates and the expected payback period, fleet investment in CNG can be “quite affordable.”
Before the CNG application, the engine was tweaked to include hardened exhaust valves, and intake and exhaust valve seats to boost wear resistance and durability with gaseous fuel systems.
At the Union City, Ind. facility of Productive Concepts (an alternative fuels conversion company) is where the CNG fuel delivery and storage system will be integrated with the engine.
As soon as the CNG system is integrated into the vans by Productive Concepts, they will be shipped to dealers or to specialty vehicle manufacturers to put in more commercial equipment.
Both the government and fleet customers have the CNG option. GM has said that the vans will be covered by the 3-year/36,000-mile new-vehicle limited warranty and 5-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty.