General Motors is expanding its portfolio of B20-capable vehicles to include cars and crossovers, and will field the industry’s most expansive lineup of diesel-powered vehicles in 2017, John Schwegman, director of commercial product and medium duty for GM Fleet, announced at the National Biodiesel Conference.
Chevrolet offers the industry’s broadest lineup of B20-capable diesel propulsion for fleet, commercial and retail customers, including: Express full-size vans; Silverado HD full-size pickups; the Colorado mid-size pickup; the Low Cab Forward commercial truck; the 2017 Cruze compact car and the 2018 Equinox compact crossover.
The Chevrolet Cruze diesel, coming this spring, will be offered in both sedan and hatchback body styles. Coupled with a 1.6L turbo-diesel engine and standard 6-speed manual or available 9-speed automatic transmission, it is expected to better the 46 mpg (5.11 l/100 km) EPA-estimated highway fuel economy of the first-generation diesel model.
The all-new Chevrolet Equinox diesel is expected to be the first diesel offered in the compact crossover segment in North America when it goes on sale this summer. It will use the 1.6L turbo-diesel and be paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, and it is expected to achieve a GM-estimated 40 mpg (5.88 l/100 km) on the highway. EPA estimates are not yet available.
GM also redesigned its Duramax 6.6L V-8 turbo-diesel offered on the 2017 Silverado HD. This next-generation engine offers more horsepower and torque than ever—an SAE-certified 445 horsepower (332 kW) and 910 lb-ft (1,234 N·m), a 19% increase in torque over the current Duramax 6.6L.
In 2018, Chevrolet will add a fifth diesel-powered truck line: a new Class 4/5 conventional cab truck being developed jointly with Navistar.
|GM Fleet’s Biodiesel Options|
|Chevrolet Express (Cargo, Passenger, Cutaway)|
Chevrolet Low Cab Forward
Chevrolet Silverado (2500HD, 3500HD, Chassis Cab)
Chevrolet Cruze (Sedan, Hatchback)
GMC Savana (Cargo, Passenger, Cutaway)
GMC Sierra (2500HD, 3500HD, Chassis Cab)
Diesel propulsion deserves wider consideration by fleet managers across the country. Truck customers know that diesel power lets them tow and haul big loads with confidence. In cars and crossovers like the Chevrolet Cruze and Equinox, diesel propulsion can deliver hybrid-like highway fuel economy with less complexity and driving range that can top 500 miles on the highway.—John Schwegman
All of the top 25 fleets use at least two fuels, according to Bobit Business Media data—and biodiesel makes up 18 percent of alternative-powered vehicles of the “Top 50 Green Fleets.”
With biodiesel production and retail distribution expanding, and so many proven benefits, we believe more fleets will embrace the technology as part of their sustainability plans. If our diesel customers fueled exclusively with B20, we estimate that consumption of petroleum-based fuels could be reduced by hundreds of millions gallons annually.—John Schwegman