Photo of Chevrolet Express cutaway courtesy of GM.

Photo of Chevrolet Express cutaway courtesy of GM.

General Motors' lineup of 19 diesel-powered vehicles will reach 20 with the launch of its new Class 4 to 5 straight truck it's co-developing with Navistar, GM announced at the National Biodiesel Conference on Jan. 17 – all of them approved for use with B20, a blend of 20% biodiesel and 80% ultra-low sulfur diesel.

"Diesel propulsion deserves wider consideration by fleet managers across the country," said John Schwegman, director of commercial product and medium duty for GM Fleet. "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."

The lineup of vehicles includes five new diesel-powered entries in the 2017 and 2018 model years, including the 2017 Chevrolet Express cargo van, 2017 Chevrolet Silverado HD pickups, 2017 Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan, 2018 Chevrolet Equinox, and the new Class 4 to 5 truck.

GM is adding redesigned diesel engines to the Cruze and truck lineup and adding a diesel option for the first time with the Express and Equinox.

The vehicles can operate on B5 or B20 biodiesel blends and retain their manufacturer warranty, said Rita Kass-Shamoun, a GM Fleet spokeswoman.

GM vehicles that can operate on B20 and retain their warranty include the Express (cargo, passenger and cutaway), Chevrolet Low Cab Forward, Chevrolet Colorado, Silverado (2500HD, 3500HD, and chassis cab), Equinox, Cruze (sedan and hatchback), GMC Savana (cargo, passenger, and cutaway), GMC Sierra (2500HD, 3500HD, and chassis cab), GMC Canyon, and GMC Terrain.

"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," Schwegman said. "If our diesel customers fueled exclusively with B20, we estimate that consumption of petroleum-based fuels could be reduced by hundreds of millions of gallons annually."

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet