Landers Dealership is offering a factory CNG vehicle to the public
When Dodge announced 10,000 compressed natural gas vehicles would be rolling off the assembly line, Bossier City's Landers dealership jumped at the opportunity to offer them to the area.
“We're very excited about being a part of (the CNG infrastructure in Bossier). We see the economic and environmental benefits,” said Jeff Johnson, Landers Business Link manager.
The new Ram 2500 CNG vehicle is a work truck that is suited to run on both CNG and gasoline. But what makes it unique is the status as one of the very few factory-produced vehicles to run on the clean-burning, lower cost fuel.
“Auto manufacturers and their dealers are providing American businesses and consumers access to vehicles that run on a cleaner fuel made by and for Americans that cost approximately $1.50 to $2 per gallon less than traditional gasoline or diesel,” said Katie McCullin, manager of media relations and corporate development for natural gas company Chesapeake Energy. “The availability of these vehicles is a vivid illustration that decision-makers are investing in the attractive economics of using natural gas as a transportation fuel. Supporting natural gas vehicles means a stronger economic future for Louisiana and a stronger energy future for our country.”
With the discovery of the Haynesville Shale in north Louisiana and the way Bossier City has embraced CNG as a viable alternative to gasoline, Landers is excited to promote the fuel and the shale.
“It's not only good for Shreveport-Bossier, but we're sitting on one of the largest gas shales ever to be discovered and that shale has brought revenue to our town,” said Johnson.
The vehicle features two “ultra-strong” CNG tanks made of the same material as submarine hulls stored in a steel box in the truck's bed. The tanks contain an equivalent of 18.2 gallons of gas with a range of 255 miles.
The range of the eight-gallon gasoline tank is 112 miles.
The engine is specially designed for CNG with unique valves, seals, and spark plugs, while still being able to seamlessly transition to gasoline.
It's CNG mileage is comparable to regular gas mileage, but the advantage is a lower cost of operation.
“When I filled this up the other day, it was $1.71 for CNG. Gas, even though we're calling it lower (priced), is still $3 per gallon,” said Johnson.
McCullin backs this up, noting, “Not only is compressed natural gas a more affordable fuel option, natural gas burns so cleanly that it produces few emissions and virtually no by-products of combustion. This equates to a longer-lasting engine, increased intervals between oil changes and overall decreased maintenance costs.”
The trucks come with the same amenities as their gasoline counterparts, feature a factory warranty, and Landers has a 15-year vetted technician certified to work on CNG vehicles at their dealership.
Along with the benefits of driving a natural gas-powered vehicle, the prospect is attractive in Bossier with two public stations available — in north Bossier on East Texas Street and in south Bossier on Barksdale Boulevard.
“We're lucky in this area we've got infrastructure,” said Johnson.
In fact, the dealership is so optimistic about CNG as a viable fuel, they sent Johnson to find out more as soon as word came down about the trucks.
“When Landers heard (Dodge) would be building a CNG truck, and they would be announcing it at NTEA (association for the work truck industry), I was on a plane and was in a closed-door meeting with Chrysler,” said Johnson.
And he says to expect more CNG vehicles to come out of Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep.
“Most of your CNG designs were designed by Fiat, Chrysler's parent company, so you're going to be seeing a lot more CNG (vehicles) coming out of Dodge,” said Johnson.
After two of the work trucks have already been sold, Johnson expects six more to arrive, with three being on the lot later this month.
“That's what's so great — any person can walk off the street and buy this truck, today,” he said.