Chevy Bi-Fuel (Gas and CNP)

Discussion in 'Chevy Truck Talk & GM News' started by ChevyFan, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra bi-fuel pickups available for order April 19

    Looks like we'll be able to order a bi-fuel CNG/Gasoline Silverado, but will have to pay an extra $11k for it above base. Seems like that's going to price it out of the range of the average guy and put it into the fleet-only category. Who's going to pay an extra $11k for this?

    VIDEO on Silverado Bi-Fuel
  2. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    With the economy the way it is I dont even know if Fleet users will want to pay that much extra.
    A lot of companies are buying lightly used trucks right now just to get a better deal.
  3. 07XCSB

    07XCSB Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    From a personal use stand point, no way!

    From a fleet manager's stand point, I will stay with diesel.
  4. Vortec6000

    Vortec6000 New Member

    Keep in mind there are tax credits for buying CNG vehicles. I forget what the federal offering was; I bought a used CNG vehicle last year (2002 Silverado 2500), which did not qualify for any federal credits, but there's still a credit for used ones in my state. Oklahoma had a one time 10% (up to $1500) credit, but had I bought a brand new one, I beleive there was a 50% credit on the extra cost of the CNG conversion (or option, if it was a factory feature).

    Fuel prices differ quite a bit by location as well, which would affect how long it would take to see any ROI. After buying my truck it was $0.78/GGE where I live until the first of this year, shot up to $1.29, and is currently back down to $1.11. But in other areas (California, Dallas, TX) it's easily 2 or 3 times that per GGE.

  5. Highmarker

    Highmarker Rockstar

    It's nice to see another NGV owner here on GMTC! I bought my '03 Silverado last year as well. In Utah, CNG is $1.49/GGE. Plus I got a $2500 state tax credit along with it.

    If we are going to break our oil addiction (especially foreign oil), then we need to use a fuel that is clean, relatively inexpensive, home grown, and available now. CNG answers all those questions.
  6. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    CNG is a great source of fuel with lots of advantages to it.
    A few years back I modified my old Rock Crawler truck to run on CNG with an "AIR/GAS Technologies" kit (their no longer in buisness) besides the obvious advantages of better mpg the truck ran much better than even gas injected trucks when in off camber situations.
    The real problem I had was refueling, there just arent that many stations or dealers that will refuel a CNG vehicle in this area, normally companies with a fleet of these vehicles have their own servicing infrastructure but their arent many retailers for non fleet users. One of the reasons I sold my truck.
    I believe if America invested in the infrastructure to retail CNG like they have for gasoline then you'd see this type fuel use skyrocket, but then the price would go up accordingly. If it ever catches on more I think the big oil companies will artificially inflate prices to off set gasoline sales loss, so in the end unless it's regulated we the end user will still pay for their large profits.
  7. Vortec6000

    Vortec6000 New Member

    I would definitely agree that public fueling infrastructure is lacking, and also agree that as it gains in popularity, the cost of CNG fuel will go up as demand goes up, just as with anything else. However I would disagree that increased demand for this fuel would inflate gasoline prices...transportation fuels are a small portion of what is produced, and if gasoline demand drops, the price will drop as well, although the most significant factor of the price will be the cost of the feedstock...crude oil. Refineries can make produce a lot of different products from crude oil...if the demand for gasoline goes down, they just won't produce as much. They can reconfigure a refinery to produce a higher value product, or possibly export to somewhere in which the same product is more valuable.

    I think CNG will continue be very slow gain popularity and although it is increasing, gasoline and diesel powered vehicles will still have the vast majority of the motor vehicle market for decades to come. There will be an increase in CNG vehicles on the road, but there will also be an increase in the others as well.

    Isn't Grand Prairie pretty near Dallas? Not exactly sure how far but I know Dallas has quite a few CNG stations. If I remember right, California has the most of any state in the USA, with Oklahoma taking 2nd place (where I live). Beyond that I'm not sure. I figure probably Texas. But if you don't have a CNG station in your city (or within a few miles) or is not on your daily travel route, or if you don't have one in your home, then I definitely agree that it will not make much sense for you to keep the vehicle as too significant a portion of the fuel you buy is burned on transporting you to/from the fueling station.

  8. Ridyn

    Ridyn Rockstar 100 Posts

    Just some information, according to some figures done out there. Since the truck still uses gasoline, lets say this:

    You were gonna buy a new truck either way, so you went for the 11k+ one well..lets see if you would have kept the 11k in your pocket that is roughly 3 1/2 years or so just to break even...bare in mind this is considering you don't drive the more expensive truck for that period. Because by that 3 1/2 year mark you would have finally purchased enough gas in the cheaper more "un economical" truck with the average of 15k miles a year @$3.70 a gallon.

    See how it doesn't add up?
  9. Vortec6000

    Vortec6000 New Member

    It really depends on how much fuel you use. At 15,000 miles a year, yes, it's going to take some time for the savings in fuel cost to equal the extra amount you spent on the CNG feature. Where I live, CNG is $1.11/GGE, so if this was the only fuel used, let's assume average of 15MPG/MPGGE, would mean 1000GGE burned in a year, which is $1110, and the equivalent amount of fuel spent on gasoline at $3.70/GAL would be $3700, a difference of $2700 per year. At this rate, it would take four years and a couple of months for the fuel savings cost to equal the cost of the fuel system. However there are likely some tax credits in there which would offset this cost somewhat. And if you drove 30,000 miles a year, it would be just a little over 2 years.

    There is no argument whatsoever that you will have to be patient to see any real cost savings. In my opinion, it's not ALL about the cost in the long run. Sure, that's the reason I bought a CNG vehicle, for far less than $11,000: to save some money on fuel. But CNG has other advantages as well, such as lower emissions, so some people may decide they want to buy one to better the environment rather than to save money. To penetrate the motor vehicle market, we have to start somewhere. I believe the main reason the CNG vehicle is so much more expensive is largely due to the EPA, which has some pretty hefty fees for certifying a fuel system...and when such a low volume of the engines are produced, this cost is very noticeably passed on to the buyer. And it's hard to justify increasing production volume significantly when the fueling infrastructure is very limited. And in the land of fueling infrastructure, it's hard to justify beefing it up when there is such a low volume of vehicles. Kind of a chicken-egg thing.

    My guess is that over the coming decades (maybe 15 to years) the extra cost for CNG capability will be very low, and the cost of the fuel will be much closer to that of gasoline/diesel.

    Another thought that just popped into my head (unfortunately out of order) is that fleet owners, depending on the size, may be able to get their own private fueling infrastructure and also get volume discounts on the fuel (piped directly to their station). I’ve heard of some metro fleets getting the fuel for $0.50-$0.60/GGE, which would speed up the cost recovery even further.


    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  10. Ridyn

    Ridyn Rockstar 100 Posts

    Well, I'm not too educated on CNP fuels however the other more popular hybrids have been shown to leave just about the same amount of carbon in the air as regular none hybrids. Not exactly too familiar with the research they did, but i was reading an article where they did a year test on some hybrids and such.

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