Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne continues to believe natural gas as the most viable alternative to conventional fueling and says government should stop pushing electric-drive ahead of other advanced-powertrain choices, the Detroit News says.
Marchionne calls natural gas "the cleanest alternative available" and reiterated his longtime claim that Fiat will lose $10,000 for every Fiat 500e battery-electric vehicle the automaker sells. The CEO, of course, is running companies that sell more than EVs. The Ram 2500 Heavy Duty CNG, North America's first production compressed-natural gas pickup truck, for example. Chrysler started deliveries of that model last summer. The truck has an 18.2-gallon-equivalent CNG tank that gives 255 miles of driving range as well as an eight-gallon gas tank that will provide another 112 miles. The EPA does not calculate fuel economy for big trucks like that, but we do know that the 2500 HD burns fuel in a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine and everyday drives report mileage in the mid-teens.
For those keeping track, there are about 1,200 public and private CNG refueling stations in the US, compared with almost 17,000 plug-in charging stations, according to the US Department of Energy.