Chevrolet announced the introduction of the 2015 Impala bi-fuel sedan - a full-size sedan capable of running on either compressed natural gas (CNG) or gasoline.
CNG is less costly at the pump and significantly reduces carbon dioxide emissions compared to traditional liquid fuels such as gasoline, according to the manufacturer. A separate CNG fuel tank, mounted in the trunk, enables the driver to switch between fuels at the push of a button. When the CNG tank is depleted, the system automatically switches to gasoline.
Most of the natural gas used in the U.S. comes from domestic or other North American sources. CNG’s abundance makes it a viable economic alternative for drivers living in areas with easy access to CNG filling stations, and it currently costs significantly less than gasoline. A person who drives 24,000 miles a year can recoup the additional investment in the bi-fuel option within a few years at current prices.
CNG vehicles typically have 20-percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline-powered cars, according to the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
The bi-fuel Impala is expected to go on sale next summer to retail and fleet customers at Chevrolet dealers in the United States and Canada.
While EPA estimates on the vehicle are not yet finalized, an approximately eight gasoline-gallon-equivalent (GGE) CNG tank mounted in the Impala’s trunk is expected to provide up to 150 miles of vehicle range for a total range of up to 500 miles.
The bi-fuel Impala is fitted at the factory with a port fuel-injected 3.6L engine that includes hardened intake and exhaust valves and valve seats, to support the long-term durability needed for CNG combustion. The GM-engineered CNG fuel system is added at a secondary manufacturing location by a GM supplier. Ordering CNG is the same as selecting any other option at the time of purchase
Redesigned for 2014, the Impala is new from the ground up, with muscular design elements that provide a nod to the past with modern styling. It is the 10th generation of one of the industry’s most enduring and popular nameplates. Impala has been America’s best-selling full-size sedan since 2004 with sales of more than 169,000 in 2012.
The bi-fuel Impala’s 3.6L V-6 engine has the highest horsepower output in the segment from a naturally aspirated V6 engine, engineered to give a satisfying feeling of immediate performance. When running on natural gas, the engine will deliver approximately 85 percent of the power produced with gasoline. The engine is matched with an advanced 6-speed automatic transmission.
The bi-fuel Impala is covered by GM’s three-year, 36,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty and five-year, 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and vehicle emissions warranty, meeting all Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board emission certification requirements.