Compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) powered versions of the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans will be offered to fleet and commercial customers beginning later this year, General Motors Co. announced Monday.
The vans have specially designed engines for the gaseous fuels and come direct to the customer with the fully integrated and warranted dedicated gaseous fuel system in place.
"We're listening to our fleet customers and dealers about offering options that help them achieve their business objectives," said Brian Small, general manager of GM's fleet and commercial operations. "The industry commitment to expand the CNG and LPG infrastructure in key fleet markets was an enabler to allowing us to introduce these options now."
GM's Vortec 6.0L V8 engine has hardened exhaust valves and intake and exhaust valve seats for improved wear resistance and durability for gaseous fuel systems. Along with dedicated gaseous fuel injection and fuel storage systems, both the CNG and LPG systems are fully integrated into the vehicle, and will meet EPA and CARB certification requirements, and be fully compliant with applicable motor vehicle safety standards.
The initial CNG offerings will be available on 2011 model year cargo vans and built at GM's Wentzville assembly plant with the specialized Vortec engine installed. The vans are then completed at a separate facility with the dedicated gaseous fuel system and related vehicle calibrations before shipment to the special vehicle manufacturer, fleet customer or GM dealer.
Both CNG and LPG vans will carry GM's limited new vehicle warranty including the 5-year/100,000 mile transferable GM powertrain limited warranty.
"We've made choosing a CNG or LPG van easier for our customers," said Joyce Mattman, director of GM's commercial products and specialty vehicles. "No other manufacturer offers a commercial CNG or LPG option that provides a solution with this level of support and availability."
Leveraging the same Vortec 6.0L V8 with hardened, durable components, the LPG gaseous fuel system will be offered on 2011 model year cutaway vans to fleet and commercial customers. The cutaways are then configured into cube, delivery, and shuttle bus vans depending upon the customer's final requirements.
"We recognize the value in providing our fleet and commercial customers with a range of fuel saving and alternative fuel technologies," Mattman said. "The CNG and LPG additions are part of GM's expanding alternative fuel portfolio including more than 17 E85-capable and five hybrid models in our fleet and commercial vehicle lineup."