A fully integrated and dedicated compressed natural gas (CNG) option, available this fall for Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans, will be priced at $15,910 MSRP, General Motors announced this week. According to the company, Chevrolet and GMC are the only full-line vehicle brands to offer a “check-the-box” CNG option for vans. Adding the option brings the total cost of either a 2011 Chevrolet Express or 2011 GMC Savana Cargo model (which start at $25,980) to $41,890 with the CNG option.

The option package price includes a dedicated CNG system ($14,590), a natural gas-capable Vortec 6.0L V8 engine ($1,295), as well as heavy-duty trailering equipment ($265). A $240 credit for deleting the spare tire brings the package price to $15,910. Powered by a Vortec 6.0L V8 engine, the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans come equipped with hardened exhaust valves, and intake and exhaust valve seats for improved wear resistance and durability with gaseous fuel systems.

GM said the vans will meet all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) emission certification requirements, and will be fully compliant with applicable motor vehicle safety standards. Each CNG Chevrolet Express or GMC Savana van also will be covered by GM’s three-year, 36,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty and five-year, 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty.

“Customers tell us coordinating the upfit for their CNG vehicles takes away valuable time that would be better used running their business,” said Joyce Mattman, director of Commercial Product and Specialty Vehicles. “Our CNG vans come with a fully integrated CNG fuel system, a comprehensive warranty, emissions compliance and strong dealer support, all for one price.” www.fleetowner.com

In July, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-UT) released a draft summary of the Energy Bill that would provide a total of up to $3.8 billion in rebates to buyers of natural gas-powered vehicles, from passenger cars to heavy-duty trucks. It would also establish a Natural Gas Vehicle and Infrastructure Development Program within the Department of Energy and provide grants for infrastructure development and research and development projects.