It will rarely draw stares or have other drivers following you to ask questions.
The 2500HD CNG is all-new from Chevrolet this year and marks the beginning of a potentially game-changing new trend in heavy-duty pickup truck efficiency.
As nice as a diesel engine’s extra 25-percent fuel efficiency is, what about a powertrain package that doubles overall range and can be flipped between gasoline and compressed natural gas at the touch of a button?
If there are no CNG filler stations on your route, simply run the truck on gasoline and enjoy is 360horsepower and 380-pound-feet of torque. When a CNG fillup is possible, get a full tankful in less than five minutes to enjoy an extra 300-miles of range, and only a modest drop in power to 301-horsepower and 333-pound-feet of torque when running on Natty G.
The 2015 Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD Bi-Fuel trucks are
cheaper only slightly pricier than the big diesel engine upgrade, come from the factory with rigorous safety testing completed, and a full warranty. The same cannot be said of aftermarket CNG conversions. The one issue is the option price. At $9,500, this is $2,000 more than the DuraMax diesel. Even so, there are major advantages in clean and cheap natural gas – which generally costs about a third the price of gasoline on a gallon-equivalent basis. It emits about half the tailpipe pollutants, for those that care about such things.
Last hurdle: Where are these CNG filler stations?
They are anywhere with heavy industry, near ports, and at electric company sites. Our nearest one in Charleston is about 20 minutes away. So it is not yet available everywhere— but the trucks also have 4G LTE and a navigation system pre-loaded with them as Points of Interest, or can be searched for right from the voice-controlled Chevrolet MyLink.
While the whole auto world chases the horizon seeking hydrogen or Tesla’s giga-battery dreams, for many hard-working Chevy trucks — the future is already here.
Just do not expect much fanfare. No parades will be thrown, nor eco awards given.
Just a 13,000-plus pound tow rating, and far fewer stops to fill up either tank.
2015 Silverado HD CNG
2015 CHEVROLET SILVERADO 2500HD / 3500HD
|Body style / driveline:||2-3 passenger regular cab or 5-6 passenger double cab, 5-6-passenger crew cab; 3/4-ton or 1-ton; 2- and 4-wheel-drive heavy-duty pickups|
|Construction:||body on frame|
|Manufacturing location:||Fort Wayne, Ind., and Flint, Mich.|
|Vortec 6.0L V-8 (L96 – gasoline only)||Vortec 6.0L V-8 (LC8 – gas or CNG)||Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V-8 (LML)|
|Type:||6.0L V-8||6.0L V-8||6.6L V-8|
|Valvetrain:||overhead valve w/ variable valve timing||overhead valve w/ variable valve timing||overhead valve, four valves per cylinder|
|Fuel delivery:||sequential fuel injection||sequential fuel injection||direct injection diesel with high-pressure common rail|
|Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm):||360 / 268 @ 5400||360 / 268 @ 5400 (gas)301 / 225 @ 5000 (CNG)||397 / 296 @ 3000|
|Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm) :||380 / 515 @ 4200||380 / 515 @ 4200 (gas)333 / 452 @ 4200 (CNG)||765 / 1037 @ 1600|
|Recommended fuel:||regular unleaded||regular unleaded or CNG||diesel or B20|
|Hydra-Matic 6L90||Allison 1000|
|Type:||six-speed automatic (with Vortec 6.0L)||six-speed automatic (with Duramax 6.6L)|
|Final drive ratio:||4.10 or 3.73||3.73|
Chassis / Suspension
|Front:||long- and short-arm independent front torsion bar suspension|
|Rear:||semi-elliptic two-stage multileaf spring (2500HD) or three-stage spring (3500HD)|
|Steering type:||integral power-assisted recirculating ball with 16.1 ratio|