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Ram Powered By Gas—as in Gaseous Gas


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One of the things that is generally overlooked about the general decline in gas prices (yes, they are going up, but think back a year—or less) is that it is predicated on increased supply that is generated, in part, by unconventional extraction techniques.

And another thing that is coming out of the ground in great abundance is natural gas, as this chart from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows:

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So it is interesting to note that Ram Truck is the only manufacturer to offer factory-built compressed natural gas-powered pickup trucks.

(Other trucks undergo post-factory modifications to make them compressed natural gas (CNG) capable.)

The Ram 2500 Heavy Duty CNG pickup is actually a bi-fuel vehicle that can run on both CNG and gasoline.

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It is powered by a 5.7-liter HEMI V8. The primary differences between that HEMI and one that can be found in a non-CNG-powered vehicle are the valves and valve seats, a second CNG-specific fuel rail and injectors, specific spark plugs, and a unique powertrain control module.

Not only can it run on gasoline, but the vehicle actually has tanks for both. There are two 130-liter CNG tanks, which provide a gasoline gallon equivalence of 18.2 gallons, and an 8- or 35-gallon gasoline tank.

The powertrain control module automatically switches the vehicle to gasoline when required.

Ram Truck announced last week that it was expanding its lineup of Ram 2500 CNG trucks to include regular cab and 2WD.

It is interesting to note that over in Europe Iveco, which is Fiat Industrial’s truck and commercial vehicles division and a sibling of Ram Truck, has been focusing on CNG propulsion since 1995 and has some 11,000 CNG vehicles out on the roads today.

Presumably with the U.S. abundance of CNG, things may make a significant shift.

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