GM CEO Dan Akerson announced recently that Chevrolet will be offering a bi-fuel version of the 2015 Chevy Impala. The sedan will be capable of running on both conventional gasoline and compressed natural gas (CNG).
Akerson unveiled the bi-fuel sedan at the “OPEC Oil Embargo +40: A National Summit on Energy Security,” a summit held in Washington DC to commemorate 40 years of the oil embargo.
GM CEO Dan Akerson unveiled the 2015 bi-fuel Chevy Impala at the “OPEC Oil Embargo +40: A National Summit on Energy Security.” The summit was sponsored by the non-partisan group Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), and addressed the state of the nation’s oil dependence from 1973 to the present. Credit: © General Motors.
“We know that U.S. energy security won’t come from a one-off moonshot,” Akerson said, during the summit. “It will flow from our systematic investment in technology and innovation… our drive to get more from existing energy sources and renewable… our commitment to conservation… and it will be assured by fully and safely exploiting our shale gas reserves.”
Natural gas is a cleaner-burning transportation fuel than petroleum. According to the California Air Resources Board, CNG vehicles typically produce 20% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline-powered cars. In addition, CNG produces fewer smog-producing emissions than gasoline, according to GM Fleet & Commercial.
The Chevrolet Impala bi-fuel sedan addresses the range anxiety issue associated with vehicles that run only on natural gas, Akerson said. It features a factory-engineered and fully warranted powertrain that switches seamlessly from CNG to gasoline. The total driving range is expected to be up to 500 miles. Dedicated CNG vehicles, on the other hand, typically have a range of 160180 miles, according to Consumer Reports.
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 added that GM is working closely with 14 of the country’s largest unions and environmental groups through the Blue-Green Alliance, and has relationships with regulators that are “more constructive than ever.”
Vehicle specs are below.
The bi-fuel version of the 2015 Chevy Impala is powered by a 3.6-liter, six-cylinder engine that provides 230 horsepower (while utilizing CNG) and 260 horsepower (while utilizing gasoline). Torque is rated at 218 (for CNG) and 247 (for gasoline).
The bi-fuel version of the 2015 Chevy Impala will allow consumers to manually switch back and forth from CNG and gasolinesimply by pushing a button on the dash.
Shown above is a cutaway view of the bi-fuel Chevy Impala. Note that the CNG fuel tank can hold up to 7.7 GGE of fuel. Credit: © General Motors.
Fuel Storage System
CNG on the vehicle is stored in a single, “Type 1” steel CNG tank that can hold up to 7.7 gasoline-gallon equivalent (GGE) of fuel. The fill receptacle for the CNG is located within the gasoline fuel filler door, making the fueling process that much simpler for vehicle owners.
Although the trunk space is smaller in the bi-fuel version of the Chevy Impala, the CNG-powered sedan will still feature 10 cubic feet of cargo volume.
The bi-fuel 2015 Chevy Impala will be offered to both retail and fleet customers. Fleet and retail ordering for the Impala will begin in March 2014, and production will begin in the summer of 2014.