Speaking at "OPEC Oil Embargo + 40: A National Summit on Energy Security," GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson announced that the 2015 Chevrolet Impala will be available as a bi-fuel offering capable of running on gasoline or compressed natural gas (CNG). Chevy plans to sell its bi-fuel Impala -- which will be the first and only full-size sedan available with this capability - to both fleet and retail buyers. It's expected to go on sale here next summer, although neither pricing nor EPA mileage estimates were revealed.
This new dual-fuel Impala will be fitted with a specially prepped version of the same 3.6-liter direct-injected VVT V6 found in its conventional counterpart. The factory engineered and fully-warranted CNG upgrade supplements the standard gasoline tank with a secondary 7.7gge (gallon of gas equivalent) high-pressure CNG tank. While it does take a fairly healthy bite out of the Impala's trunk capacity, the bi-fuel model should be able to travel up to 500 miles with both tanks filled and the transition from gas to CNG can be made on the fly with the touch of a single button on the dash.
Beyond announcing the bi-fuel Impala, Akerson reiterated GM's commitment to exploiting every possible technological venue to create ever more efficient vehicles with the goal of saving 12 billion gallons of gasoline from 2011 to 2017. That effort includes supporting the aggressive use of gas extracted from domestic shale reserves as a cleaner-burning fuel for internal combustion engines. But Akerson also noted that even with advanced technologies and alternative fuels, "achieving energy security will require productive partnerships between energy companies, utilities, environmental groups, labor unions, universities and manufacturers."
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