General Motors announced today that it will build a Chevrolet Impala sedan that operates on either gasoline or compressed natural gas, or CNG. It will go on sale next summer and be sold to both at retail and to fleets.
Even though the U.S. has seen a boom in natural gas production, and clean fuel sells for less than half the price of gasoline, not many vehicles that can use it have come from automakers and many CNG vehicles on the road are from private converters. GM’s product lineup now includes natural gas vans and it recently said it plans to offer bi-fuel versions of its 2015 full-size pickups.Only Honda has a natural-gas powered car on sale nationwide, a Civic.
But slick new redesigned Impala could have advantages that could bring greater acceptance. Since it will be able to use gasoline or natural gas, that mitigates worries about being stranded in places where there are no CNG stations. Also, its large trunk can hold the CNG tank and still have reasonable room for luggage. The Bi-Fuel Impala will switch automatically to gasoline when the natural gas tank (which holds the CNG equivalent of eight gallons of gasoline) is depleted. The driver also can manually switch between fuels with a button on the dash.
« Natural gas power trains are one of the areas where we have increased investment because we believe the technology can satisfy the ‘green’ needs of both the environment and stockholders, » Akerson told the conference
La prochaine révolution dans les transports ne sera pas alimentée par l’électricité, mais par le gaz de schiste qui est disponible en abondance aux États-Unis.
Au Québec, nous avons dit non au gaz de schiste et nous avons décidé de miser sur la voiture électrique… En bref, le PQ a misé sur le mauvais cheval dans la mauvaise course…