According to General Motors, it has finalized the production process for its Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans. The OEM said this means it will be able to deliver to fleet customers complete vehicles with a fully integrated and dedicated CNG fuel system this fall.
GM has chosen Productive Concepts (PCI) to integrate the CNG fuel systems into the vans. The vans will meet all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) emission certification requirements, said GM, and they will be fully compliant with applicable motor vehicle safety standards.
Each CNG van will begin with GM’s Vortec 6.0L V8 engine. GM said its engineers modified this power plant with hardened exhaust valves, and intake and exhaust valve seats for improved wear resistance and durability with gaseous fuel systems. The “hardened” engines will then be assembled into the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans at GM’s Wentzville, MO plant.
Once the CNG system is integrated into the vans at PCI, they can be shipped to many specialty vehicle manufacturers to have commercial equipment added, or directly to GM dealers.
The CNG 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.
GM pointed out it had announced in May that it would be the only manufacturer to offer a “one-source van CNG” option. “Our focus from the beginning has been to offer fleet customers a simple ‘check the box’ approach with our CNG Chevrolet Express and Savana vans,” said Brian Small, gm of GM Fleet and Commercial Operations. “Our robust production process is a key enabler and certainly separates us from any competitive offering.”