DETROIT — General Motors (GM) will offer a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) option for the 2012 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana cutaway 4500 vans, which are used in Type A school bus applications.
Production is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2012. The new offering enables fleets to choose from around 2,600 LPG (also known as propane or autogas) fueling stations nationwide — a number that is expected to significantly increase.
“LPG infrastructure has progressed rapidly, so it’s easier for our customers to refuel in convenient locations across the country,” said Brian Small, general manager, GM Fleet and Commercial operations. “When our customers order the LPG option, they’re getting a sensible fuel alternative, with the convenience of a one-stop ordering process.”
GM said its manufacturing process enables customers to spend less time converting vehicles by using a one-stop-shop approach that delivers a chassis with a complete LPG fuel system, which can then be upfitted to meet customer requirements.
GM selected Knapheide Manufacturing Co. to install the LPG system into the 159-inch wheelbase 4500 cutaway van. CleanFUEL USA serves as the tier-2 supplier for the 35 gallon useable fuel capacity LPG system.
“Through GM’s unique manufacturing process, our fleet customers know they’re getting quality, reliability and convenience,” said Joyce Mattman, director, commercial product and specialty vehicles.
The cutaway vans come equipped with GM’s Vortec 6.0L engine. The vans will be produced at GM’s Wentzville, Mo., plant and transported to Knapheide’s nearby facility for fuel storage/delivery system installation. Upon completion, the chassis will then be sent to the upfitter chosen by the customer for bus body installation.
Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana LPG cutaway vans will be covered by GM’s three-year, 36,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty and five-year, 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and vehicle emissions warranty, meeting all EPA and California Air Resources Board emission certification requirements.