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CNG ProMaster coming?

by David Zatz on

Recently, FCA US gained a patent on a modular storage system for compressed gases (e.g. compressed natural gas, or CNG).  Ram already has a factory CNG conversion for its pickup, and Chrysler Corporation has sold CNG minivans, vans, and cars.

The patent proposal showed the system in a minivan, which would make sense for some fleet minivan users. It had the tanks under the floor, in a flexible configuration, with the module cover being part of the floor.

CNG is inexpensive and the price is fairly stable; it is also clean-burning attributes, and gains FCA US more CAFE credits. Using it in the ProMaster van would be a logical next step; Chrysler made many CNG-powered full-size vans, and the ProMaster is aimed at company fleets as well as small contractors.

So far, there is no indication that the company has any plans beyond CNG pickups; and it’s possible that the minivan illustration is a canard or an out-of-the-box exercise, with the reality being a more space-efficient pickup design or even just staking out some intellectual-property space.

Sources: Steven St. Laurent and the U.S. Patent Office

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