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CNG-Fueled 2015 Chevrolet Impala Introduced

The 2015 Chevrolet Impala will be capable of running on both compressed natural gas (CNG) and regular gas, GM CEO Dan Akerson announced yesterday. The bi-fuel version of the 2015 Impala will be one of the only bivalent vehicles offered as such from the factory when it goes on sale next year.

The bi-fuel 2015 Chevy Impala was announced by Akerson at an energy security summit, and touted as an example of using existing technology to wean America off of foreign oil.

With the discontinuation of the Ford Crown Victoria, the 2015 Impala is set to be one of the only (if not the only) full-size sedans offering the ability to run on CNG. Though specifics are set to be announced closer to its debut next summer, the bi-fuel Impala features a trunk-mounted CNG tank that contains the equivalent of 7.7 gallons of gas, in addition to the car's normal fuel tank. Chevy promises up to 500 miles of range using the two fuels, though EPA figures have yet to be released.  The 2015 Impala's fuel system can be switched from CNG to gas or vice-versa through a dash-mounted switch. If the CNG runs dry, Chevy says the Impala will automatically switch to gas. The bi-fuel 2015 Impala is powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 modified to burn both CNG and gas. No word yet on power output.

Up until now, most bi-fuel capable vehicles were heavy duty pickups like the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra HD, and Ford Super Duty, which were sold with kits that made it easier for modification from factory-approved aftermarket suppliers. Ford recently began offering a CNG option on the 2014 F-150, while Honda offers a version of the Civic that runs only on CNG.