FORT WAYNE, IN -General Motors said it will sell bi-fuel versions of its 2013 GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado pickups, Fox News reports. The trucks can be powered by either natural gas or gasoline.
The 2500 HD (heavy duty) model comes in rear-wheel or four-wheel drive in a standard or long bed. The trucks have a 6.0-liter V-8 engine with modifications to enable it to jump from burning compressed natural gas (CNG) to gasoline and vice versa.
"Range anxiety is very real," said Joyce Mattman, director of GM commercial product and specialty vehicles. "We worked with the Chevy Volt team on that, and saw the same issues" among drivers who were concerned about running out of electricity.
The pickup trucks will be made in Fort Wayne, with a nearby supplier adding the gas storage tanks and fuel delivery system. GMC and Chevy will begin accepting orders for the bi-fuel trucks with delivery scheduled before the end of 2012.
With gasoline prices climbing, CNG, with its lower cost, is very attractive. The only problem could be finding a place to fill up with CNG, given that there are less than 1,000 natural-gas fueling stations in the United States, with about half of those available to the public. Georgia will soon have more natural-gas fueling stations.
Natural-gas powered vehicles are gaining in popularity, especially as more states, such as Oklahoma and Colorado expand their government-owned fleets with natural-gas vehicles.