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Chevrolet, GMC Expand Alternative Fuel Fleets

chevrolet low cab forwardChevrolet and GMC are partnering with Power Solutions International (PSI) to launch heavy-duty pickups and full-size vans powered by 6.0-liter V-8 compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)-capable engines starting in the first quarter of 2017.

Chevrolet also will offer CNG and LPG versions of its new Low Cab Forward commercial truck.

The announcement follows the selection of PSI as General Motors Fleet’s preferred upfitter for CNG and LPG trucks.

GM will supply vehicles equipped with the 6.0L V-8 engine with hardened valves and valve seats to PSI, which in turn will install the fuel system and other hardware and ship directly to Chevrolet and GMC dealers in all 50 states.

The expanded lineup brings GM Fleet’s portfolio of alternative fuel, hybrid and EVs to more than a dozen trucks, cars and crossovers.

“Expanding choice is the key to helping more commercial and government fleets reduce their fuel consumption, fuel costs and emissions using alternative fuels and EVs versus using traditional gasoline,” said Ed Peper, US vice president of GM Fleet in a statement. “There are no ‘one size fits all’ solutions for fleet managers.”

GM Fleet says its partnership with PSI follows customer demand and ongoing investment by companies across the nation in CNG refueling infrastructure.

Earlier this month, the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration announced 55 routes that will serve as the basis for a national network of alternative fuel corridors spanning 35 states. Though the network is nearly 85,000 miles long, more miles will be added in the future to accommodate electric, hydrogen, propane and natural gas vehicles as additional fueling and charging stations are built.

Currently four of the top five “Green Fleets,” as identified by Bobit Media Group, operate CNG-powered vehicles. All of the top 25 fleets use at least two fuels.

Additionally, a new bipartisan bill in Congress would cut federal excise taxes on trucks that run on compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) or renewable natural gas (RNG). CNG is methane drawn from gas wells and stored on the vehicle in high-pressure tanks. LNG is natural gas stored as super-cooled liquid. The bill will undoubtedly face stiff political opposition from the Koch brothers and other petroleum interests. But, if passed, it will also make it easier for fleet owners to purchase alternative-fuel trucks.

“For our customers that wish to enter into the natural gas truck market, this legislation will help facilitate the purchase of cleaner and more fuel efficient trucks by reducing the onerous tax burden caused by the FET,” said Jake Jacoby, president and chief executive officer of the Truck Renting and Leasing Association, in a statement supporting the proposed legislation.

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