Aimed primarily at fleet users but also on offer to retail customers in all 50 states, the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty pickup line with CNG bi-fuel conversion made its first public appearance in Chicago. Sharing all of the interior and exterior enhancements with its conventional gasoline- and diesel-burning 2015 Silverado HD siblings that we drove last week, this potentially cleaner and greener variation on the theme also offers the potential for considerable savings in fuel costs.
Available on all Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD models with single rear wheels, the $11,000 upfit is not for everyone. However, with compressed natural gas currently priced roughly 62 percent lower per gallon than gasoline, GM claims a bi-fuel capable Silverado HD driven 26,000 miles per year can save its operator more than $2,000 based on a 75-percent CNG usage in addition to emitting considerably less CO2. Transitioning from one energy source to the other can be done at the flip of a switch although the gasoline to gas changeover will occur automatically when the CNG is depleted. And with full tanks of gasoline and CNG, the range of a bi-fuel Silverado 2500 HD can extend up to 650 miles.
While the initial prep work for the CNG conversion is done on the factory assembly line, the actual installation of the bed-mounted tank and associated hardware is performed by a GM-approved tier-one supplier at a secondary location. The automaker fully warrants all system components under terms of its standard 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty.
Silverado 2500HD double cab and crew cab models are on sale now, with the 2500HD regular cab and all 3500HD models set to hit the market in July.
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