Natural gas pickup choices are growing with the addition of a CNG powered pickup from Ram Truck. The dual-fuel Ram 2500 Heavy Duty CNG pickup, offered exclusively as a Crew Cab 4x4 model on a 169-inch wheelbase, is designed to run on either compressed natural gas or gasoline.
The transition from natural gas to gasoline is handled automatically. Unlike the natural gas pickup offerings from Ford and GM that are available to both fleets and consumers, the fully assembly line-built Ram CNG pickup will initially be offered exclusively to fleets at an MSRP of $47,500, plus a $995 destination charge.
To run on both fuels, the Ram HD CNG’s 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 is modified with redesigned cylinder heads, CNG compatible valves and valve-seat materials, a second CNG-specific fuel rail and CNG injectors, new spark plugs, and a new powertrain control module. A pair of 4.6 cu.-ft. CNG tanks located in the 8-foot pickup bed hold the gasoline gallon equivalent of 18.2 gallons. They are fueled through a CNG filler connection located next to the standard gasoline fuel neck, accessed through the Ram’s fuel filler door. An 8 gallon gasoline tank adds 112 miles of range to the pickup’s 255 range on natural gas.
Keeping track of fuel level is straightforward with a CNG-specific gauge adjacent to the conventional gasoline gauge in the instrument cluster. The CNG pickup’s considerable functionality is retained with a 1,580 lb. payload rating, 7,650 lbs. of towing capability, and a 4 ft., 8-in. usable cargo bed length.