Compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) powered versions of the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans will be offered to fleet and commercial customers beginning later this year, according to General Motors.

The vans feature specially designed engines for the gaseous fuels and come direct to the customer with the fully integrated and warranted dedicated gaseous fuel system in place.

"We're listening to our fleet customers and dealers about offering options that help them achieve their business objectives," said Brian Small, general manager of GM Fleet and Commercial Operations. "The industry commitment to expand the CNG and LPG infrastructure in key fleet markets was an enabler to allowing us to introduce these options now."

Engines EPA & CARB Compliant

GM's Vortec 6.0L V-8 engine receives hardened exhaust valves and intake and exhaust valve seats for improved wear resistance and durability for gaseous fuel systems. Along with dedicated gaseous fuel injection and fuel storage systems, both the CNG and LPG systems are fully integrated into the vehicle, and will meet EPA and California Air Resource Board (CARB) certification requirements and be fully compliant with applicable motor vehicle safety standards.

Initial CNG offerings will be available starting this fall on 2011 model-year cargo vans and built at GM's Wentzville, Mo., assembly plant with the specialized Vortec engine. The vans will be completed at a separate facility with the dedicated gaseous fuel system and related vehicle calibrations before shipment to the special vehicle manufacturer (SVM), fleet customer, or GM dealer.

Leveraging the same Vortec 6.0L V-8 with hardened, durable components, a dedicated LPG gaseous fuel system will be offered on 2011 model-year cutaway vans to fleet and commercial  customers. The cutaways can be configured into cube, delivery, and shuttle bus vans.

Simplifying Alt-Fuel Vehicles

Both CNG and LPG vans will carry GM's limited new-vehicle warranty including the 5-year/100,000-mile transferable GM powertrain limited warranty.

By offering a one-source van CNG option, GM eliminates the vehicle conversion process for its CNG customers.

"Our focus from the beginning has been to offer fleet customers a simple 'check the box' approach with our CNG Chevrolet Express and Savana vans," said Small.

"We've made choosing a CNG or LPG van easier for our customers," added Joyce Mattman, director of GM Commercial Products and Specialty Vehicles. "We recognize the value in providing our fleet and commercial customers with a range of fuel saving and alternative- fuel technologies. The CNG and LPG additions are part of GM's expanding alternative-fuel portfolio."