Chrysler (FIATY.PK) sets a goal to become the first automaker in the U.S. to sell a...

Chrysler (FIATY.PK) sets a goal to become the first automaker in the U.S. to sell a factory-built pickup truck that runs off of natural gas, with its planned launch of the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty CNG truck in July. If the automaker rolls its natural gas-powered truck on schedule it will beat GM (previous) and Ford (F) to the punch.

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  • Tdot
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    Ford: Been there, done that. Duel-fueled F-Series trucks and Crown Vic taxis with a CNG tank AND a gasoline tank, with a selector switch. Mid-late 90's. Nobody wanted it then, or now. Honda makes a CNG Civic. They sell a couple thousand, but unless it is a taxi or gas company fleet, there is no where to fill it.


    But wait - FiatChrysler wants to "become the first" - to what - sell more than a few thousand to the public? Just ahead of Government Motors doing the same ("me too!")? Absolutely NOT.


    "Chrysler will only sell its natural-gas Ram to fleet customers like local governments, utilities and construction companies. GM anticipates that 90 percent of its sales will be to fleets."


    Oh. Well maybe small snow plowing / landscaping companies then. How about pricing? Is it a good deal?


    "The CNG Ram, for example, starts at $47,500, almost $20,000 more than a base Ram 2500. The natural-gas Civic starts at $26,155, or $10,000 more than a base four-door Civic. GM won't announce the price of its natural-gas trucks until next month, but expect a premium."


    Oh, well, if that's all ... wait whaaaaaat? Why?


    "It can also cost up to $18,000 to convert a gasoline vehicle to a natural gas one, according to Natural Gas Vehicles for America, a lobbying group."


    Wow. And that from the group that is lobbying for such things. But OK ... do the numbers work?


    "Mary Barcella, director of North American Natural Gas research at consulting firm IHS CERA, said the economic benefits aren't compelling enough for most drivers. With gasoline prices of about $4 per gallon, it would take five years or more to recoup the extra cost of a natural gas vehicle. She thinks natural gas vehicles will only become more popular if pump prices rise and stay high for a long time."


    sourced quotes: AP -
    7 Mar 2012, 08:33 AM Reply Like
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