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Chrysler delivers first CNG trucks to Oklahoma

Oklahoma received its first shipment of natural gas-powered Ram 2500 pickups from Chrysler. The state has ordered 242 of them so far.
BY JAY F. MARKS jmarks@opubco.com Modified: March 6, 2013 at 10:05 pm •  Published: March 7, 2013

“Our multistate bidding process was aimed at encouraging automakers to provide states with more affordable and more functional CNG vehicles.”

Grady said the states' interest in natural gas speed up the development of its CNG vehicles, leveraging its alliance with Italian automaker Fiat.

“We, as a company, see the future with compressed natural gas,” he said.

Chrysler engineered its CNG trucks so they can be built alongside gasoline and diesel trucks, rather than being converted to run on natural gas by a third party.

“It's a much more efficient way to do it,” Grady said.

The Ram pickups are bi-fuel vehicles, with natural gas as the primary fuel source. They have capacity of 18.2 gallons of CNG and 8 gallons of gasoline, switching seamlessly between the two as needed.

The trucks delivered Wednesday to the Transportation Department were purchased through John Vance Motors in Guthrie. They will be used primarily as service trucks on the state's roads and highways.

“These are heavy-duty trucks and we have highway crews in every county in the state who will put them to work immediately,” Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation Gary Ridley said in a statement.