By Patrick Rall
Yesterday we brought you the news about the new Ram 2500
CNG, making the Ram brand the first automaker to offer a factory production compress
natural gas truck and today we bring you some of the specs on the CNG Hemi
heavy duty Ram.
The immediate advantage of the Ram 2500 CNG is that compressed
natural gas (CNG) is quite a bit less expensive than gasoline while also being
70-90% less polluting than a traditional Hemi running on straight gasoline. Most importantly, there is only a slight
difference in the power of the 5.7L Hemi when running on CNG compared to when
the engine is on normal gasoline, with the 383 horsepower dropping by about 10%
when running on the clean natural gas.
Chrysler claims that the Ram 2500 CNG has a range on just compressed
natural gas of 255 miles and with the aid of the 8 gallon gas tank, the CNG Ram
should have a total range of around 367 miles.
The new Ram holds the equivalent of 18.2 gallons of CNG with another 8
gallons of gas for when you can’t find a station that sells CNG – when
factoring in the 367 mile gives you an average fuel economy figure of 14mpg.
In college, I had the pleasure of working with a fleet of
full sized Dodge Ram Vans with 5.9L Magnum engines that included models that
ran strictly on compressed natural gas.
Shy of the unusual refueling procedure, there was no noticeable difference
in the power out between a van running on CNG and a van running on
gasoline. I can also tell you that the
rear wheel drive CNG Ram Vans would do some intense, smokey burnouts. The Hemi running on CNG should be every bit as awesome as the ones running just on gasoline.
Depending on the growth of the natural gas refueling
infrastructure, the Ram 2500 CNG could be a trend setter in the heavy duty
truck segment with this alternative fuel solution.