Chevrolet adds Natural Gas bi-fuel to 2015 Impala, making one gassy hybrid

2015 chevrolet impala natural gas bi fuel variant due next summer cng
Unlike the Honda Civic CNG, the Impala bi-fuel can run on gasoline or natural gas with the push of a button.

Not every green car has batteries.

Natural gas is a low-emission fuel that’s been around for years, but it hasn’t exactly gone mainstream. Chevrolet obviously hopes that will change, because it’s adding a natural gas model to the 2015 Impala lineup.

Actually, the Impala will be a bi-fuel vehicle. It can run on natural gas, then switch over to gasoline to give it the range of a normal car. Think of it as a very gassy hybrid.

The Impala will have two fuel systems: one for compressed natural gas (CNG), one for gasoline; drivers can switch between them with the push of a button. Chevy says the car will have a total range of about 500 miles if both tanks are topped up.

Bi-fuel vehicles are popular with fleets; the ‘Big Three’ offer variants of their full-size pickups that run on both CNG and gasoline, and some aftermarket companies sell conversion kits. However, the 2015 Impala will be the first passenger car available for sale to individual customers from an OEM.

The only other CNG car on the market is the Honda Civic Natural Gas. According to Honda (pun intended) it gets up to 250 miles of range.

The Civic can’t switch over to gasoline, though, and that’s a problem for anyone hoping to travel long distances.

Like electric cars, CNG cars come with “range anxiety.”

There are less than 1,000 CNG filling stations in the United States, and even though many U.S. homes are heated by natural gas, there is no readily available high-speed, home-fueling system for CNG cars. Electric cars can at least be charged from home Level 2 charging stations or – in a pinch – a plain old wall socket. Home CNG fillers can take as long as eight hours for a full tank.

So why is GM bothering with a bi-fuel car, when it already has so much money sunk into the Chevy Volt, Spark EV, and other electric vehicles?

Let’s put it this way: it wasn’t a coincidence that GM CEO Dan Akerson chose to unveil the bi-fuel Impala on the 40th anniversary of the 1973 OPEC Oil Embargo.

“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.” Virtually all of the natural gas used in future cars will come from domestic shale gas reserves.

The bi-fuel option will be offered on the 2015 Impala beginning next summer. Pricing has not been announced, but Chevy expects to deliver only a handful of copies in the first year.

Emerging Tech

In a weighty decision, scientists prepare to redefine the kilogram

Metrologists are meeting at the General Conference on Weights and Measures in Versailles to vote on whether to redefine the kilogram as a constant that can be observed in the natural world.
Cars

Born to run (forever): The most reliable cars you can buy right now

We all dread the thought of our car turning into a money pit, but choosing a dependable vehicle from the start can help us rack up countless care-free miles. Here, we've rounded up some of the most reliable cars available.
Cars

Our favorite fuel-efficient cars are as frugal as they are fun

You don't need to opt for a hybrid or an all-electric ride in order to achieve good fuel economy. These vehicles pack both performance and style, whether you're in the market for a luxury sedan or a game-changing pickup truck.
Cars

VW will use Siri as the designated driver for its connected car party

Volkswagen of America added Apple's Siri to help drivers control and interact with their cars. Owners can customize voice commands to tell Siri to change access settings such as interior climate, vehicle lock status, and fuel checks.
Cars

Prep your car for the coming snow and sleet with these cold weather tips

Driving in the winter, whether downtown or across the country, is rarely easy. Luckily, we've put together a quick rundown of a few things you should do to winterize your car before the snow officially hits.
Digital Trends Live

DT Daily: Waymo’s driverless cars, ‘Fallout 76’ tips, and Racella

In today's episode of DT Daily, we discuss Waymo's foray into the ridesharing sector, along with various tips for making the most of the recently launched Fallout 76. We also sit down with singer Racella to chat about her new EP, Waves.
Cars

Many adults believe fully self-driving cars are already traversing U.S. highways

The American Automobile Association tested cars with features such as lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control and found them lacking in real-world conditions. Forty percent of surveyed U.S. adults think self-driving cars exist now.
Cars

Want to keep connected on the road? Here are 5 ways to add Bluetooth to your car

The best way to make an old ride feel young again is to bring it up speed with the 21st century. Here's how to properly add Bluetooth to your vehicle, via independent kits, vehicle adapters, or aftermarket head units.
Cars

Jeep’s outdoorsy Gladiator pickup truck bares it all ahead of schedule

Jeep will introduce the long-promised Wrangler-based pickup truck at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Named Gladiator, the model was designed to conquer the great outdoors, not for the construction site.
Cars

The hamster-friendly 2020 Kia Soul will rock out at the Los Angeles Auto Show

Kia has released a teaser image to preview the next Soul. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2020 Soul will keep the outgoing model's boxy proportions but it will wear a sharper design.
Cars

2020 Toyota Corolla sedan aims to offer sharper handling, better tech

The 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan gets the same upgrades as the recently-introduced Corolla hatchback, including a firmer foundation, new engine, and more tech features. Will that be enough to keep the long-lived Corolla nameplate relevant?
Cars

Startup Rivian exits stealth mode with a bold promise to electrify off-roaders

Electric car startup Rivian has finally turned off stealth mode and provided details about what it's been working on since 2009. It will build battery-powered off-roaders instead of taking on Tesla and others in the luxury EV segment.
Cars

Honda will squeeze another model into its SUV lineup at the Los Angeles show

Honda will introduce a new SUV with a familiar nameplate at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show. It envisioned the 2019 Passport as a five-seater alternative to the eight-seater Pilot. The two models will share a platform and many tech features.
Cars

Uber rolls out rewards program that lets its most loyal riders lock in prices

Uber launched a new loyalty program today called Uber Rewards. It offers frequent riders credits to Uber Eats, car upgrades, and the ability to lock in prices on their most traveled routes.