Thursday, October 17, 2013

GM's hopes you're ready for a new fracking car

An Impala?  Maybe not what you had at the top of your list. But how about one getting 500 miles-per-gallon?  Oh, so, now you're interested?

Here's the deal. GM announced yesterday that it will build a Chevrolet Impala sedan that can operate on either regular gasoline or compressed natural gas (the fuel that comes from all those fracking wells in Pennsylvania, Ohio and maybe, someday, New York) and travel up to 500 miles between fill-ups.
Forbes reports:
The Impala’s bi-fuel powertrain is engineered to switch seamlessly from CNG to gasoline, which should reassure consumers worried about finding a place to refuel. For business fleet customers, whose drivers return to a central location, CNG refueling shouldn't be a problem. GM did not announce the new car’s price, which is likely to be higher than the standard gas model, but savings at the pump could offset that extra payout quickly.

The 2015 Impala can run on natural gas or regular gasoline
Natural gas produces about 20 percent less carbon dioxide than gasoline-powered cars, according to the California Air Resources Board. It is also significantly cheaper. CNG sells for an average of $2.11 per gallon of gasoline equivalent, and as little as $1 in some parts of the country. The national average for unleaded regular gasoline is $3.36.
For those in states like California, Oklahoma and Utah who have been converting older vehicles to CNG for years, the new bi-fuel Impala offers an opportunity to upgrade to a modern vehicle with navigation, Bluetooth and advanced safety systems. Said Eric Ibara, another Kelley Blue Book analyst: “There is a lot of buzz around CNG right now. With more infrastructure, I wouldn't be surprised to see an increasing number of CNG vehicles on the road.”
Some environmental-minded folks will be hesitant to drive a vehicle that depends on a fuel that comes from fracking wells that many blame for air and water pollution. But CNG vehicles emit lower levels of air pollution than regular-gas vehicles and, at least in this case, promise to be much more energy efficient.  Would you consider buying a car like this? Share your thoughts in the box below.  

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