General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) has announced that they will start selling a Chevrolet Impala sedan next summer that will run on natural gas and regular gas. GM said that both fuels are needed because there are fewer natural gas filling stations in the U.S. GM said that the Impala will be the only factory-produced full-size vehicle that runs on both fuels. The new Impala will be sold to retail and fleet buyers as a 2015 model.
GM CEO Dan Akerson made the announcement about the new car at an energy summit that marks the 40th anniversary of the OPEC Oil Embargo. Akerson pointed out that the bi-fuel Impala is an example of using affordable technology to reduce oil consumption and saves money for consumers at the pump.
“We know that U.S. energy security won’t come from a one-off moonshot,” Akerson said. “It will flow from our systematic investment in technology and innovation… our drive to get more from existing energy sources and renewables… our commitment to conservation… and it will be assured by fully and safely exploiting our shale gas reserves.”
CNG vehicles have 20% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline-powered cars, according to the California Air Resources Board. The power train on the new Impala would be able to switch seamlessly from CNG to gasoline with a total range that is expected to be up to 500 miles.