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Chrysler unveils CNG Ram

by Bill Cawthon on

Ram Truck announced it will be the only manufacturer in North America to offer a factory-built, compressed natural gas-powered (CNG) pickup truck. The Ram 2500 Heavy Duty CNG pickup, sold only to fleet and commercial customers, uses less expensive, less polluting fuel which is typically domestically sourced, reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil.

Allpar predicted the Hemi-based CNG system in September 2011. According to Allpar’s report, the CNG version adds 780 pounds to the weight of the vehicle. At the time, Ram chief Fred Diaz denied that Ram was making a CNG capable engine, which was true as far as production vehicles went but not as far as prototypes were concerned.

CNG Ram

The Ram HD CNG has both compressed gas storage tanks and an 8-gallon gas tank. Canadian customers can opt for a 35-gallon gasoline tank. CNG-only range is estimated to be 255 miles, while the backup supply of gasoline extends the range to 367 total miles.

The Ram 2500 Heavy Duty CNG’s two 4.6 cu.-ft. (130-liter) CNG tanks are in the forward portion of the 8-foot pickup bed, mounted to the frame and covered by a painted 50 ksi high-strength steel cover. The CNG filler connection is next to the gasoline fuel neck.

The CNG tanks provide a gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) of 18.2 gallons. A gasoline gallon equivalent of CNG is approximately 14.5 liters at 3600 psi. At current prices, which are generally $1.25 less than the gallon equivalent of gasoline, CNG promises significant cost savings over the life of the truck.

See Allpar’s full story on the 2012 Ram 2500 CNG Hemi bi-fuel pickup.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.


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