Yesterday I brought you word of GMC and Chevy announcing they will soon offer a 3/4-ton pickup with a bi-fuel option for cleaner, cheaper operation.
Today Ram (formerly Dodge) trucks announces it will have a bi-fuel option arriving this summer, also on a 2500 Heavy Duty platform and intended for commercial and fleet clients.
CNG burns much cleaner than gasoline in combustion engines and Ram lists it (at current rates) an equivalent of $1.25 cheaper per gallon so as gas and diesel prices move higher and higher and the CAFE fuel economy requirements get closer and closer it is easy to see why fleet buyers would opt for the bi-fuel or CNG option, even at a slight price premium.
“Commercial customers are extremely important to Ram Truck,” said Fred Diaz, Ram Truck President and CEO Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico – Chrysler Group LLC. ”Adding a hard-working, fully capable CNG-powered truck to the Ram lineup makes a lot of sense – both economically and environmentally.”
“Our commercial fleet customers have been asking us to build a CNG powered Ram,” said Peter Grady, Vice President, Network Development and Fleet – Chrysler Group LLC. “These fleets have already developed their own fleet fueling infrastructure for CNG, and are strong proponents of the technology.”
The new Ram HD CNG will be powered by a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine with both a CNG tank and an 8-gallon gasoline fuel tank. The engine has been modified to operate on both fuels and alternate between them seamlessly. A small amount of gas is utilized for startup and then the vehicle runs exclusively on CNG until the tank is emptied.
CNG range is estimated at 255 miles with the backup gasoline extending that to 367 miles total. By comparison, the GM trucks boast a total range of more than 650 miles.
The new Ram 2500 CNG features all the amenities offered on a fleet Ram Heavy Duty including factory brake controller and the powertrain is covered by factory five-year/100,000-mile limited warranty. Ram is currently taking orders for the trucks which are being offered as a Crew Cab 4×4 in either ST or SLT trim at a starting price of $47,500 and the first vehicles should arrive in July.