Fresh from their press preview in Arizona, Chevy’s new Silverado heavy duty pickup trucks rolled into the Chicago auto show this week with three power choices for 2015 models—diesel, gasoline, and compressed natural gas (CNG), the latter as a bi-fuel combo with gasoline.
Chevrolet claims a maximum range of 650 miles using both tanks. More important to fleet operators, thanks to its North American abundance, CNG is much less expensive than gasoline, currently a little more than $2 per gallon.
Although the bi-fuel setup adds to the transaction price—Chevrolet didn’t specify by how much—it can also add up to big savings. According to Chevrolet, an owner who drives 26,000 miles annually, and uses CNG for 19,500 of those miles, will save about $2000 in fuel costs.
Chevy’s 6.2-liter V-8 is the bi-fuel engine, with hardened valves and valve seats to accommodate its dual role. It’s paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Burning gasoline, the 6.2 is rated for 360 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. On CNG, those numbers fall to 301 and 333.
However, while the diminished power may affect acceleration, it doesn’t have an impact on the truck’s capabilities. Equipped with a 4.10:1 rear axle, conventional towing is rated at 13,000 pounds burning either fuel. And while CNG doesn’t generate as much snort, it burns cleaner than gasoline, and is kinder to engine internals.
Thanks to: Car and Driver