Chrysler announced it begins to offer its natural gas-powered Ram pickup for sales to retail buyers.

Last month Chrysler allowed all dealers to order its Ram 2500 Heavy Duty CNG pickup, after the automaker initially offered the vehicle only to fleet buyers. Currently Chrysler and Honda are the only automakers in the US which sell compressed natural gas vehicles to retail customers.

“The dealers have been asking for it, they’ve been clamoring, particularly in the natural gas states and in some of these places where you’re starting to get infrastructure,” said Peter Grady, vice president of network development and fleet. “States where the fuel and infrastructure are most available include California, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania.”

Sergio Marchionne, Fiat and Chrysler’s CEO, said that natural gas engines are more viable and cheaper compared with plug-in hybrid and electric cars. He also added that the Fiat 500 EV, which will begin production later this year, is expected to bring losses of about $14,000 per unit sold.

Chrysler’s Ram 2500 Heavy Duty CNG pickup, which features both a conventional gasoline fuel tank and a compressed gas storage tank, can reach 255 miles (410 kilometers) only on compressed natural gas, before it switches to the 8-gallon (30-liter) reserve tank, adding 367 miles.


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