INDIANAPOLIS. Ram Trucks announced new compressed natural gas models for its 2500 models, going from one available model to four in the process.
The announcement was made on Wednesday at the NTEA’s Work Truck Show in Indianapolis by Becky Blanchard, director-Ram Brand. Blanchard also gave a brief overview of the product line, including improving sales numbers for the commercial lineup.
“One way we’ve been able to grow the business is through a commitment to [being] best in class,” she said.
Ram has sold over 1,000 CNG 2500 models to date, and that has given it reason to expand its offerings. Now available are 2500 models with bi-fuel CNG capability in 4x2 regulation cab and crew cab configurations and 4x4 regular cab. Previously, only the 2500 crew cab 4x4 with 8-ft. box was CNG capable.
The Ram HD CNG is powered by the 5.7L Hemi V-8 and features both compressed gas storage tanks and a choice of 8- or 35-gal. gasoline fuel tanks. 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.
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, the company said. 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.
CNG-only range is 301 mi. highway, with the backup supply of gasoline extending the range to 966 total mi.
The two 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.
The trucks offer 1,580 lbs. of payload, 4-ft.-8-in. usable bed length and 7,650 lbs. of towing capability when equipped with CNG.
Blanchard also noted that its smaller ProMaster City van, which hit dealer lots in January, is available in wagon or cargo configuration and in two trim levels: ST or SLT,
Both models include a 9-speed automatic transmission, bi-link suspension and 2000 lb. towing capacity. The wagon achieves 29 mpg, Blanchard said.
The cargo version has a payload capacity of 1,883 lbs., best in class, she noted.
“We now offer a world class line of commercial vans for our customers,” Blanchard said, pointing out that the OEM has doubled its Business Link dealer network since 2010.
“Customers can count on Ram to be there with [products and support] that is right for their business,” she added.