Add General Motors to the list of major manufacturers entering clean-tech upgrades to otherwise ossifying service-van fleets. GM adds a twist, too: vans powered by compressed natural gas (CNG). which are finally hitting streets. Based off the popular Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana models, GM is the only manufacturer to offer CNG as an add-on option for fleet managers looking to cut fuel costs and take advantage of an expanding natural gas infrastructure.
Although GM announced its line of CNG vans last summer, Gas 2.0’s Jo Borras reports that the vans have only recently rolled out. The CNG option will cost fleet managers about $16,000, meaning a Chevy Express or GMC Savana, which costs $25,980 in standard configuration, will run about $42,000 after the CNG option on a modified Vortec 6.0L V8 engine. The vans are covered by GM’s three-year, 36,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty and a five-year, 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty.
With natural gas’ comparable mileage and significantly lower costs than regular gasoline — about $2 per gallon across the U.S. — combined with an expanding infrastructure to support refueling, Hybrid Cars’ Larry Hall writes that GM’s line of full-size, CNG converts offer managers a feasible entry into green fleet options, especially since GM’s models are bulkier (and cheaper) than Ford’s Transit Connect series, now available in a fully electric model.