Wednesday, May 19, 2010

CNG Baby Steps

I read this morning that GM is going to introduce CNG and LPG versions for two of its full sized vans, the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana, but they will be available to fleet customers at this time.

GM is putting its toe back in the natural gas waters after offering NG vehicles in the 1990's.  With the possibility of government entities offering subsidies to purchasers of natural gas vehicles, it is a good move for GM.  Between the subsidies and the lower operating cost and improved environmental impact (not to mention not having to buy an oil-based fuel), the opportunity could be very large for GM.

It will be interesting to see how customers react.  Fleets are obviously a good place to start, as they generally need vehicles for short haul trips and can afford to install a fueling station.  I wonder how long it will take Ford to come out with a similar model.  In any case, it is good to see a domestic vehicle maker getting into CNG vehicles.  I like the idea of plug-in electric or hydrogen vehicles, but natural gas is a fuel that is plentiful in the U.S. and the technology is well developed.

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