Automaker General Motors Co. (GM: Quote) said Monday it plans to launch natural gas-powered pickup trucks in April to be sold in the U.S. and Canada. The trucks will have the option to run both on gasoline and compressed natural gas, 'seamlessly' transitioning between the two fuels.
The Detroit, Michigan-based company currently plans two bi-fuel truck models: the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado and 2013 GMC Sierra 2500 heavy-duty extended cab pickups. The trucks are projected to save the owners thousands of dollars in fuel costs over three years.
"The bi-fuel Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra provide customers with choices in advanced propulsion technology, and because CNG (compressed natural gas) is a clean-burning, domestically produced fuel, it has wide appeal," said Ed Peper, general manager, GM Fleet and Commercial Operations.
Booking for the models will begin in April for fleet owners and retail consumers, with deliveries expected to begin late this year. The models will offer a range of more than 650 miles, and will be available in standard and long box, with either two- or four-wheel drive, GM said.
GM is offering three-year, 36,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty and five-year, 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and vehicle emissions warranty.
According to reports, Chrysler is also expected to announce Tuesday an alternative fuel-based Ram truck to be built at its Saltillo, Mexico-based plant that will travel 255 miles on CNG before automatically switching to an 8-gallon gas tank.
Rising gasoline prices have triggered demand for CNG-powered vehicles or alternative fuel vehicles. The initiative by automakers to use alternative fuel is also gaining the U.S. government's support.
GM closed Monday's regular trading session at $26.00, down $0.45 or 1.70 percent on a volume of 7.65 million shares, lower than the three-month average volume of 11.67 million shares. In the past 52-week period, the stock has been trading in a range of $19.00 to $33.47.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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