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AT&T orders 1,200 CNG-powered Chevrolet Express vans

A four-tank option enables a 300+ mile range in the CNG Express vans. Click to enlarge.

AT&T has ordered 1,200 Chevrolet Express dedicated compressed natural gas (CNG) cargo vans for deployment to AT&T service centers nationwide. It is the largest-ever order of CNG vehicles from General Motors.

AT&T, which has announced its intention to invest up to $565 million to deploy approximately 15,000 alternative fuel vehicles over a 10-year period through 2018, will use the vans to provide and maintain communications, high-speed Internet and television services for AT&T customers. Last week, the company announced the milestone deployment of its 5,000th alternative-fuel vehicle, a Chevrolet Express van, as part of the commitment. (Earlier post.)

Chevrolet Express CNG vans are powered by a Vortec 6.0L V8 engine equipped with hardened exhaust valves, and intake and exhaust valve seats for improved wear resistance and durability with gaseous fuel systems. The vans are factory-ordered and delivered to customers with their factory-engineered and fully integrated gaseous fuel system in place.

GM offers two storage systems:

  • A 3-tank system provides a range up to 200 miles and allows for use of complete cargo area.

  • A 4-tank system provides a range up to 300 miles. This system adds a single tank in the driver’s side of the cargo area, just inboard of the wheel well.

The CNG option is available for order on Chevrolet Express 2500 and 3500 Cargo vans. Each van is covered by GM’s three-year, 36,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty and five-year, 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, and meets all Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board emission certification requirements.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, CNG-powered vans can produce approximately 25% fewer carbon dioxide emissions than similar gasoline and diesel-powered vans.



This is great news! Most, if not all of the fuel used in these vehicles will come from American natural gas wells.


Yes...multiplied by 10,000 or so it could become meaningful.


Thats all well and fine but...do these things really NEED 6L V8s? How many will ever need to go faster than 40mph? Or travel more than 10 miles from base?


Boon Pickens says it costs him less than $1 a gallon (I'm assuming that's the CNG equivalent to pump gas) to fuel his ng car. Why not have a big V8 if your costs are not going to be significantly higher than a V6 or 4 cylinder? The AT&T maintenance vans I've seen have a lot of crap they haul around so I'm sure it helps to have a nice V8.


The engine power output of the Honda GX natural gas car is not quite as high as a gasoline version for the same displacement. They could make a smaller engine and turbo charge or super charge because the octane is there, but larger displacement is probably cost effective.


Dont know if y'all get off the island much, but the rest of the world has communication trucks too, that apparently haul less crap around and consequently get by without a "nice V8" that gets 19mpg on the best day ever. "New GM" needs to be a helluva lot better than "old GM". This country, its businesses and governments, can NO longer afford 19mpg V8s, no matter how cheap and available the ALLEGED 100 year supply of NG is.


I don't think anyone could rationally advocate wasting natural gas. The supposed 100 years is actually 10 years, but they have had 10 years for the last 40 years. Estimating reserves is apparently as much of an art as a science.


This is NOT great news at all.

GM & Ford vans are LONG overdue for a frame & suspension redesign, especially their adapted use as paratransit vans for disabled and elderly passengers. A hybrid front-wheel drive would best serve that public need and use natural gas more sparingly with less emissions and noise.

Whoever thinks this is great news isn't thinking. GM is still the world's most corrupt automobile manufacturer.


Such a strong opinion with no supporting evidence, very common. The volume of vehicles is not large enough to warrant a redesign, figure it out.

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