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GM to introduce CNG-gasoline bi-fuel Chevrolet Impala in US next summer

16 October 2013

CNGBiFuelChevyImpalaReveal02-medium
2015 Chevrolet CNG-Capable, Bi-Fuel Impala. Click to enlarge.

General Motors will build a Chevrolet Impala sedan for retail and fleet customers that operates on either gasoline or compressed natural gas (CNG), GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson announced today. This will be the only manufacturer-produced full-size bi-fuel sedan in the US, and is expected to go on sale next summer as a 2015 model.

Currently, the only natural gas vehicle from a major manufacturer on sale in the US is the Honda Civic Natural Gas. The Chevrolet Impala bi-fuel sedan features a factory-engineered and fully warranted powertrain that switches seamlessly from CNG to gasoline. Total range is expected to be up to 500 miles (805 km).

2015-Chevrolet-ImpalaBi-Fuel-009-medium
An overlay of the CNG system shows key components including the engine and gaseous fuel storage fuel storage and delivery system, which was developed and validated by GM engineers, and backed by GM new vehicle and powertrain limited warranties. Click to enlarge.

Akerson said the bi-fuel Impala is an example of using affordable technology to reduce oil consumption and save consumers money at the pump. Akerson announced the car during remarks at an energy summit sponsored by the nonpartisan group Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) marking the 40th anniversary of the OPEC Oil Embargo.

We know that US energy security won’t come from a one-off moonshot. It will flow from our systematic investment in technology and innovation... our drive to get more from existing energy sources and renewables... our commitment to conservation... and it will be assured by fully and safely exploiting our shale gas reserves.

—Dan Akerson

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A separate CNG fuel tank is mounted in the trunk. Click to enlarge.

Natural gas is a cleaner-burning transportation fuel compared to petroleum products, and costs significantly less than gasoline at current prices. CNG vehicles typically have 20% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline-powered cars, according to the California Air Resources Board.

Akerson said that in addition to advanced technologies and alternative fuels, achieving energy security will require productive partnerships between energy companies, utilities, environmental groups, labor unions, universities and manufacturers.

Akerson also reiterated a call he made earlier this year for the Administration and Congress to create a new, consumer-driven national energy policy from a position of strength and abundance.

October 16, 2013 in Engines, Natural Gas | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

The new Impala is beautiful, however I wish GM took a page from Ford and improved the taillight clusters....... cars like the Impala should have LED lights replace incandescent bulbs........... With regards to exterior lighting, Ford is kicking GM's butt...

When i was younger i use to hate gm but now with the volt and this car i start to love them. Im interrested to buy used in 2022 whem my current car will be too old.
I hope that they will sell a lot in my area.

If this concept catches on it could suck back all the NG earmarked for LNG export since current vehicle fuels have a higher equivalent thermal price, even allowing for taxes. A bonus of this system is that even if there are few CNG filling stations to begin with you can get by on petrol until that happens. Suppose you run out of CNG while driving through the back woods you can always get home on a small amount of petrol, even if you have to phone for help.

No range anxiety with 800 km nor worries about draining the battery with AC or heating. To free up NG supplies for quite a few years I suggest not burning it in power stations but using nukes for that task. The higher petrol-equivalent price for NG should make gas too expensive for power stations. In Australia we're talking about $45 per GJ or mmbtu versus around $10 to go into Japan export LNG. Power stations don't want to pay more than $5 so CNG cars will outbid them.

Tri+-fuel (CNG, Diesel, gas and ethanol or buthanol) is next?

While a diesel and gasoline engine can use NG, a diesel engine is not compatible with gasoline unless equipped with separate injectors for each fuel. Separate fuel injectors and fuel system and pumps and piping would make it impractical.

It would be best to have CNG and diesel fuels available at large gas stations by mandate. Perhaps H2 by mandate after 2015 to be present at large gas stations having more than 10 pumps. One H2 dispenser and one CNG dispenser among 10 or greater gasoline pumps is not much and will pay for themselves in due time! Diesel fuel is already widely available at larger gas stations.

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