Auto Show: 2014 Chicago Auto Show
2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD Bi-Fuel: Chicago Auto Show
What Is It?
The 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD Bi-Fuel is a full-size, heavy-duty pickup that gives drivers the ability to fill up with either compressed natural gas (CNG) or traditional gasoline. That's important for some shoppers, since compressed natural gas is more than 60 percent cheaper than regular gasoline -- which could work out to big savings.
Based on the all-new 2015 Silverado Heavy Duty, the Silverado HD Bi-Fuel uses a 6.0-liter V8, just like the regular Silverado HD. It also boasts the same 360 horsepower, 380 lb-ft of torque and 6-speed automatic transmission. But special engine components allow drivers to run on CNG or gasoline, which gives the Bi-Fuel a unique ability not found on the standard Silverado.
While CNG isn't as widespread as traditional gasoline, drivers with access to the fuel will see big savings at the pump. Because CNG is so much cheaper than gasoline, Chevrolet says a Silverado Bi-Fuel driven 26,000 miles annually and filled with only CNG could save drivers up to $2,000 per year. That's a big deal, especially for small businesses that typically operate heavy-duty trucks like the Silverado HD.
While Chevrolet hasn't announced pricing for the Bi-Fuel Silverado HD, the gasoline-powered model starts at around $32,000 with shipping. Bi-Fuel has been an expensive option on past Silverado HD models ($10,000 or more), and we wouldn't expect it to get any cheaper this time around.
When Can You Get It?
Early 2014 for 2500HD models; summer 2014 for the 3500HD.
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
If you have convenient access to compressed natural gas, the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD Bi-Fuel could be worth a look -- assuming you drive enough to recoup the initial higher cost. After all, CNG is far cheaper than gasoline, which means that springing for the Bi-Fuel Silverado could save you big money in the long run. It won't work for many shoppers, but the Silverado HD Bi-Fuel can be a good choice for some drivers.
Other Cars to Consider
Ford F-Series Super Duty -- Ford doesn't offer a CNG version of its full-size Super Duty truck, but many well-reviewed, thoroughly tested aftermarket conversions are available. The brand also offers diesel power for drivers looking to save money at the pump.
RAM 2500 CNG -- The RAM 2500 has offered bi-fuel capabilities since the 2012 model year. As on the Silverado, the RAM's CNG option is pricey: around $11,000 over the standard V8. Choosing between the RAM and the Silverado will ultimately come down to personal preference and availability.
Used Chevrolet Silverado Bi-Fuel -- If you don't need the latest Silverado HD, consider a used model with bi-fuel capability. It may be hard to find, but they're out there. And a used Silverado Bi-Fuel will be much cheaper than a brand-new 2015 model.