|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).
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
|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.