General Motors unveiled a compressed natural gas cargo van this week at the Green Fleet Conference in San Diego, indicating the company’s primary fuel preference for a new wave of light-duty vehicles.
Domestic competitor Ford (NYSE: F) and several foreign automakers are developing plug-in electric fleet vehicles. But GM has chosen natural gas–though it hedged its bet in August with an investment in Bright Automotive, which is building a plug-in hybrid cargo van, designed from the ground up for commercial and government fleets.
GM’s Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana CNG vans were the featured vehicles in the automaker’s fuel-efficient lineup designed to reduce the environmental impact of government and industry fleets.
“Chevrolet and GMC are the only brands to offer a one-source CNG option on vans for fleet customers. What’s more, these vans will meet all Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board emission certification requirements,” said Mary Beth Stanek, GM’s director of federal environmental and energy regulatory affairs, and a conference keynote speaker.
The fully integrated CNG fuel system option carries a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $15,910. The vans will be covered by GM’s three-year, 36,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty and five-year, 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty.
Corporate sustainability and green fleet initiatives are playing a
larger role in fleet managers’ purchasing decisions, as more companies
choose to “green” their fleets, Stanek said.
An Automotive Fleet census recently reported there were
10,864,637 fleet vehicles on the nation’s roads as of Jan. 1, 2010.
Any improvements to increase fuel economy and reduce emissions can
significantly contribute to a cleaner environment.
GM also touted a total of 12 vehicle models with EPA-estimated 30 miles per gallon highway ratings that use innovative engine advancements like Active Fuel Management to deactivate cylinders and Spark Ignition Direct Injection. For example, the new Chevrolet Cruze Eco model featuring a 1.4L turbo engine is expected to get up to 40 MPG highway when it goes on sale in early 2011.
Build a real solar/windturbine/hydrogen/electric cargo van with a 6’foot inside roof clearance, and have it rated for national safety and public use. Same size and specs as the current mercedez sprinter vans in use. Dirty diesels need to go away for good. It’s past time and neccessity and we all would welcome this solution. Good luck guys.