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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Ram CNG Truck

Mar 6, 2012

Ram truck took the wraps off North America's first straight-from-the-factory compressed natural gas truck -- the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty CNG -- at the National Truck Equipment Association Work Truck Show in Indianapolis on March 6th. The CNG Ram gives fleet owners and operators a hard-working, fully-capable truck that both economical and environmentally friendly.


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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Big trucks shift to natural gas
March 6, 2012

Ram intends to announce its plan today to produce a heavy-duty pickup this year that runs on compressed natural gas, the Free Press has learned, making it the second Detroit automaker in two days to publicly embrace the technology.

The Ram 2500 bi-fuel pickup will be powered by a 5.7-liter Hemi engine that can run on both compressed natural gas and regular gas, said a person familiar with the plan but who was not authorized to speak publicly about the truck. It will be built at Chrysler's plant in Saltillo, Mexico.

Ram is to hold a news conference today in Indianapolis at the 2012 Work Truck Show.

General Motors said Monday it plans to begin offering later this year Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickups that run on either gasoline or compressed natural gas (CNG). Using both fuels, the GM trucks will offer a range of more than 650 miles.

GM's trucks will be built at its plant in Ft. Wayne, Ind. IMPCO Technologies will install the tanks and fuel system. GM said its trucks will be equipped with a CNG-capable Vortec 6.0-liter V8 engine that can run on either fuel.

The decision by the companies to produce the pickups comes as concern grows over rising gasoline prices. A gallon of regular on average reached $3.77 nationally Monday, up 27 cents from a year ago, according to AAA Michigan.

CNG, on average, costs one-third less than conventional gasoline at the pump, according to Natural Gas Vehicles of America. The U.S. ranked fifth in the world for natural gas reserves as of January 2011, according to the CIA World Factbook.

But as talk about drilling for natural gas increases, so does concern about the potential damage to the environment as some companies use fracking to extract natural gas from the ground.

Fracking can involve injecting millions of gallons of pressurized water, sand and chemicals into the ground as a way to force gas out.

Some say fracking has caused earthquakes and dangerous water contamination. Federal rules appear under development to possibly regulate the practice.

Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has long been a proponent of using natural-gas powered vehicles in the U.S. as a way of reducing America's energy dependence.

Fiat, which holds a 58.5% stake in Chrysler, is the market leader in Europe for engines using CNG. It has a 55% share of light commercial vehicles in Europe that run on CNG, according to Fiat.

"I understand the environmental concerns that have been raised, but certainly it needs to be addressed and it needs to be understood, because we can get there a lot faster if we can get access to CNG as a carbon solution," Marchionne said.

For now, Ram will only sell the truck to fleet customers because there aren't enough public fueling stations in the U.S. to support sales to consumers.

There are only about 1,000 natural gas fueling stations in the U.S. -- about half are open to the public, according to the trade association Natural Gas Vehicles for the U.S.

Ford said Monday it plans to improve the fuel economy of its Transit commercial vans by using a 3.5-liter, turbocharged, direct-injected V6 engine that Ford calls EcoBoost. It would run on gasoline.

The Transit, which goes on sale in North America next year, replaces the long-serving E-Series that will be discontinued.

The combination of a smaller direct-injection engine and a commercial van that is about 300 pounds lighter than a comparable E-Series will improve fuel efficiency by at least 25%, Ford said.

"This engine has revolutionized the half-ton pickup segment for F-150, and we're expecting it will have the same effect on commercial vans," Tim Stoehr, Ford commercial truck marketing manager, said in a statement.



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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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Ram to Build North America’s Only OEM Compressed Natural Gas-powered Pickup

March 6, 2012 , Indianapolis - Today, Ram Truck announced it will become 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 is designed for fleet and commercial customers and offers cost and emissions benefits, using an abundant, domestically sourced fuel while reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil.

“Commercial customers are extremely important to Ram Truck,” said Fred Diaz, Ram Truck President and CEO Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico – Chrysler Group LLC. ”Adding a hard-working, fully capable CNG-powered truck to the Ram lineup makes a lot of sense – both economically and environmentally.”

“Our commercial fleet customers have been asking us to build a CNG powered Ram,” said Peter Grady, Vice President, Network Development and Fleet – Chrysler Group LLC. “These fleets have already developed their own fleet fueling infrastructure for CNG, and are strong proponents of the technology.”

The Ram HD CNG is powered by the 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 and features both compressed gas storage tanks and an 8-gallon gasoline fuel tank. Canadian customers can opt for a 35-gallon gasoline tank.

“Compressed natural gas is a widely accepted fuel in the U.S., Europe and Asia,” said Robert E. (Bob) Lee, Vice President and Head of Engine and Electrified Propulsion Engineering -- Chrysler Group LLC. “As a fuel, CNG is readily available, well-suited to run in our 5.7-liter HEMI engine and is clean-burning with a low environmental impact. In fact, CNG demonstrates a reduction of 70 to 90 percent of smog-producing pollutants and significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Ram’s 5.7-liter HEMI bi-fuel engine has been modified to run on compressed natural gas as well as gasoline. Redesigned cylinder heads with specifically designed CNG compatible valves and valve-seat materials allow the engine to burn both fuels. It also gets a second, CNG-specific fuel rail and set of injectors. New spark plugs improve combustion and durability, and a new powertrain control module allows the HEMI to seamlessly operate on either of the two fuel sources.

The Ram 2500 CNG system was fully engineered and tested by Chrysler Group and assembled at the company’s Heavy Duty truck plant in Saltillo, Mexico.

In use, the system is automatic; eliminating operator switches altogether and utilizes either CNG or gasoline, transitioning from one to the other with little discernible difference in operation or capability.

Although a small amount of gasoline is used during engine startup, the Ram CNG runs exclusively on compressed natural gas. If the CNG tanks are emptied, the vehicle will automatically switch to gasoline.

In addition to a conventional gasoline fuel gauge, a second CNG-specific gauge sits adjacent to it in the instrument cluster.

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

The CNG tanks provide a gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) of 18.2 gallons.

GGEs are calculated as having the same energy equivalent as one gallon of gasoline. CNG sold at filling stations in the U.S. is priced in dollars per GGE. 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.

The Ram 2500 CNG retains its heavy-duty capability: competent towing, payload hauling and outstanding acceleration for highway merging and passing.

Ram 2500 CNG offers 1,580 lbs. of payload, 4-ft.-8-in. usable bed length and 7,650 lbs. of towing capability.

The Ram 2500 is delivered ready-to-tow and standard equipment includes the integrated 4- and 7-pin connectors along with a Class IV hitch receiver. The Ram CNG also comes with a trailer brake controller with customer-programmable electric or electric-over-hydraulic trailer brake options.

Like every Ram 2500 Heavy Duty model, the 2012 Ram CNG’s brake system reflects distinctive advantages, with huge, oversize 14-inch rotors and calipers to match. Front GAWR is rated up to 5,200 lbs. — ideal for northern climates requiring snow plow attachments.

Clean Energy
Natural gas is found abundantly in North America and is a common fuel source for large vehicle fleets.

CNG comes primarily from underground sources in the U.S. and Canada. It is plentiful and offers lower tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline or diesel fuel. In fact, CNG vehicles emit 20 percent less CO2 than gasoline vehicles – and benefit the environment not only by lowering tailpipe emissions, but also generating fewer greenhouse gasses in fuel production, as well. Also, dedicated NGVs produce, on average, 70 percent less carbon monoxide, 87 percent less non-methane organic gas and 87 percent less NOx than traditional gasoline powered vehicles.

CNG is a mature technology that’s available at a lower cost than other alternative fuels. It’s further supported by positive consumer attitudes regarding green products and favorable governmental regulations and policy initiatives.

CNG technology is a viable near-term option to lessen transportation system dependence on crude oil.

Fleet Solutions
Fleet operators have a number of fueling choices.

There are approximately 1,500 CNG fueling locations across the U.S., half of which are accessible to the public. CNG producers are working aggressively to bring more on line every day.

“This technology is ready now and offers a viable solution along with number one fleet ‘reason to buy’ which is lower total cost of ownership,” added Grady. “Delivering a factory-built Ram 2500 CNG underscores the importance of commercial and fleet customers to Ram Truck Brand.”

In addition, large fleet operations frequently install both quick-fill and slow-fill CNG fueling stations. In addition, the Ram CNG’s bi-fuel capability allows it to operate on gasoline indefinitely, until CNG can be added.

Ram executives expect customers for the new Ram 2500 HD CNG to include telecommunications companies, public utilities, natural gas production firms and government agencies.

Expanded CNG vehicle offerings and wider adoption of CNG as a primary fuel are expected to serve as a catalyst for expanded CNG product offerings and greater investment in CNG fueling infrastructure.

5-year/100,000-mile Warranty
A 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty covers the HEMI V-8 and transmission, and adds internal engine components specific to CNG: the upgraded valves, the valve seats, fuel injectors and rail and the specially designed spark plugs — all part of the factory installed manufacturing and production processes.

Covering virtually every other aspect of the Ram 2500 CNG is a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. Specific to the CNG engineering, this covers all non-engine components, including the tanks, storage compartment and fuel filler equipment.

Fiat and CNG
Fiat is by far the dominant CNG manufacturer in Europe with a greater than 80 percent share of the market. Fiat sales of compressed natural gas vehicles in Europe have exceeded 480,000 passenger cars and light duty vehicles (1997-2011).

Moreover, since 1995, Iveco (Fiat Industrial’s truck and commercial vehicles division) has focused heavily on natural gas propulsion, and is now European leader in research and sale of natural gas vehicles, with 11,000 units now in use by private companies and public authorities.

Italy has more widely adopted CNG vehicles than the U.S. and offers 800 public CNG stations.

(For further information: FIAT S.p.A. - Home and FIAT Industrial - Homepage.)

Facts about Natural Gas Vehicles

There are about 150,000 Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs) on U.S. roads and more than 13 million worldwide
The U.S. ranks 14th in the world for NGVs, with less than 1 percent
The International Association of Natural Gas Vehicles estimates that there will be more than 50 million natural gas vehicles worldwide within the next 10 years, or about 9 percent of the world transportation fleets
While the United States imports more than 60 percent of the oil it uses, 98 percent of the natural gas used in the U.S. was produced in North America
NGVs can be refueled from existing natural gas lines. This makes home refueling stations that utilize such lines possible

The company is currently taking fleet orders and expects to deliver the first vehicles in July 2012.

The Ram 2500 CNG is available exclusively as a Crew Cab 4x4 model with 169-inch wheelbase, in either an ST or SLT trim level.

Pricing starts at $47,500, including $995 destination charge.

About BusinessLink™
BusinessLink is a free program that connects business owners with a network of Chrysler Group dealers that are specially equipped to work with small businesses. Nationwide, Chrysler Group’s 489 BusinessLink dealers offer the convenience of one-stop sales and service essential to help commercial/small businesses stay on the road to profitability. Business owners may access this free membership program with proof of business ownership at any BusinessLink dealer. Benefits include no dues or fees, specialized in-dealership commercial/small business sales and service personnel, extended service and repair hours, priority next-available-bay service, free shuttle service, 24/7 towing service, free loaners for select vehicles, expertise in commercial financing options and unique business variable incentives.

Find a local BusinessLink dealer at (877) 2THELINK or on the web at Chrysler Commercial Vehicles | BusinessLink Commercial Dealer Network.

About "On The Job"
Chrysler Group’s "On The Job’ vehicle program provides commercial/small business owners a variety of incentives and discounts to assist them in purchasing, servicing and customizing vehicles to specifically address their unique professional needs. Custom upfit allowances, service contracts, Mopar® certificates, and cash allowances are just a few of the stackable incentives that business owners can utilize at any of Chrysler Group’s 2,317 dealerships. Business owners may take advantage of these incentives in addition to existing BusinessLink or retail specials. Most Chrysler Group vehicles qualify for On The Job program advantages when the vehicle is purchased for business use.

For On The Job program information, call (877) ONTHEJOB or click on Chrysler Commercial Vehicles | Commercial Vehicle Incentives.

About Ram Truck Brand
The Ram Truck brand continues to establish its own identity and clearly define its customer since its launch as the newest Chrysler Group LLC vehicle brand. Creating a stand-alone brand for Ram trucks has allowed the brand to concentrate on how core customers use their trucks and what new features they'd like to see. Whether focusing on a family that uses its half-ton truck day in and day out, a hard-working Ram Heavy Duty owner or a business that depends on its commercial vehicles every day, Ram has the truck market covered.


Nitro Year: 2007 (1 of 91,815 sold in 07)
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