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LPG
26.01.2016
USA
Sector: CNG

Chevrolet Impala CNG - deliveries in progress

The 2015 Chevrolet Impala CNG, the first US passenger car to feature factory compressed natural gas conversion, was slightly delayed by quality issues, but is now back on track – 200 cars have already been delivered to fleet customers around the country.
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Chevrolet Impala CNG© ChevroletThe Impala is one handsome car and CNG becomes her...

The buyers are exclusively commercial and fleet customers. Individual drivers are not interested in such cars at this point, because the refueling infrastructure across the country isn't sufficiently developed, but given the pace at which CNG is gaining popularity, this could soon change. Meanwhile, the pioneering Impala Bi-Fuel will remain primarily a company car.

Speaking of company, the CNG system installed on the car dosn't replace the petrol fuel system, but instead accompanies it. The 3,6 l V6 engine can run on either fuel, generating 258 HP and 331 Nm in petrol mode and 232 HP/296 Nm on CNG. As for range, the methane-powered Impala is capable of traveling up to 150 miles (240 km) on CNG, plus additional 350 miles (560 km) on petrol, for a combined range of 500 miles

Chevrolet Impala CNG - the fuel tank© ChevroletThe tank occupies some of the cargo space

(800 km).

If a second generation is built, maybe the chassis architecture could be designed to enable reversing of today's range proportions of the Impala – a CNG-powered car doesn't necessarily need more range petrol than it offers on natural gas, but since the current model sits on the underpinnings of a petrol-powered car, not originally designed with alternative fuels in mind, little more could have been done. Also, in the future the Type 1 steel CNG tank will most likely be replaced with a lighter composite equivalent and perhaps integrated into the underbody so that it doesn't "steal" cargo space in the trunk. But for now, we wish the Impala a broad stream of orders in 2016!



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Robert Markowski
source: General Motors



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