INDIANAPOLIS – Ram Truck announced it will offer a factory-built compressed natural gas-powered (CNG) pickup truck for North America. The Ram 2500 CNG system was fully engineered and tested by Chrysler Group and assembled at the company’s Heavy Duty truck plant in Saltillo, Mexico.
The company is currently taking fleet orders and expects to deliver the first vehicles in July 2012.
The Ram 2500 CNG is available exclusively as a Crew Cab 4x4 model with 169-inch wheelbase, in either an ST or SLT trim level. Pricing starts at $47,500, including $995 destination charge.
The Ram 2500 Heavy Duty CNG pickup is designed for fleet and commercial customers and offers cost and emissions benefits, using an abundant, domestically sourced fuel while reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil, according to the automaker.
The Ram HD CNG is powered by the 5.7L HEMI V-8 and features both compressed gas storage tanks and an 8-gallon gasoline fuel tank. Canadian customers can opt for a 35-gallon gasoline tank.
The Ram’s 5.7L HEMI bi-fuel engine has been modified to run on compressed natural gas as well as gasoline. Redesigned cylinder heads with specifically designed CNG compatible valves and valve-seat materials allow the engine to burn both fuels. It also gets a second, CNG-specific fuel rail and set of injectors. New spark plugs improve combustion and durability, and a new powertrain control module allows the HEMI to operate on either of the two fuel sources.
The Ram 2500 Heavy Duty CNG’s two 4.6 cu.-ft. (130-liter) CNG tanks are located in the forward portion of the Ram’s 8-foot pickup bed. Both tanks are mounted to the frame and covered by a painted 50 ksi high-strength steel cover. The CNG filler connection is located next to the gasoline fuel neck, accessed through the Ram’s fuel filler door. The CNG tanks provide a gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) of 18.2 gallons. CNG-only range is estimated to be 255 miles, while the backup supply of gasoline extends the range to 367 total miles.
The Ram 2500 CNG retains its heavy-duty capability: competent towing, payload hauling and outstanding acceleration for highway merging and passing.
Ram 2500 CNG offers 1,580 lbs. of payload, 4-ft.-8-in. usable bed length and 7,650 lbs. of towing capability.
The Ram 2500 is delivered ready-to-tow and standard equipment includes the integrated 4- and 7-pin connectors along with a Class IV hitch receiver. The Ram CNG also comes with a trailer brake controller with customer-programmable electric or electric-over-hydraulic trailer brake options.
Ram executives expect customers for the new Ram 2500 HD CNG to include telecommunications companies, public utilities, natural gas production firms and government agencies.
A five-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty covers the HEMI V-8 and transmission, and adds internal engine components specific to CNG: the upgraded valves, the valve seats, fuel injectors and rail and the specially designed spark plugs — all part of the factory installed manufacturing and production processes.
Covering virtually every other aspect of the Ram 2500 CNG is a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. Specific to the CNG engineering, this covers all non-engine components, including the tanks, storage compartment, and fuel filler equipment.