GM debuts bi-fuel trucks

Seamless switching from gas to CNG.Seamless switching from gas to CNG.

The order books are open and they’re coming down the assembly lines as we speak: the 2013 Chevy Silverado HD and GMC Sierra 2500 HD bi-fuel pickup trucks.

The Vortec 6.0L engines in these trucks will run on gasoline or compressed natural gas and can switch between the two seamlessly without affecting performance. With the combined fuel of both systems the trucks boast a range of 650 miles.

The bi-fuel option ads $11,000 to the sticker price, but with CNG running $1.60 to $2 cheaper than gasoline you can recoup that eventually (at about 120,000 miles, assuming 20 mpg). After that it’s $2 per gallon cash back in your pocket. If gas or diesel goes higher your payoff comes quicker and the payback gets better.

CNG is reported to run much cleaner, with less soot, longer intervals between oil changes, and probably longer engine life; and if you care, it cuts greenhouse gas emissions by better than 40 percent compared to gas or diesel.