This 2015 Chevy Impala Will Run on Natural Gas

General Motors CEO Dan Akerson unveiled a new version of the Chevy Impala last week. The new Impala will run on either gasoline or compressed natural gas. Photo credit: General Motors.

Give General Motors  (NYSE: GM  ) credit: The old dog is working hard to learn some new green-minded tricks.

Under CEO Dan Akerson, GM has stepped up its investment in green cars -- and Akerson has recently been talking about taking on green-car darling Tesla Motors  (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) with an electric Cadillac. But its latest green-car move had a different twist. Last week, Akerson unveiled a 2015 Chevy Impala that will run on your choice of compressed natural gas or ordinary gasoline -- or both, seamlessly switching between the two. Natural gas is cheaper than gasoline and produces fewer emissions, making it both a cost-savvy option and a green-savvy one.

But there's a catch: At least right now, stations that can refuel a car like this are hard to find. The natural gas system will be offered as an extra-cost option on Impalas starting in 2015 -- but who will pay extra for a car that can use a fuel that's hard to get? In this video, Fool contributor John Rosevear explains that GM has an audience in mind for its latest greened-up ride -- and in one little corner of the market, natural-gas-powered vehicles already make a whole lot of sense.

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  • Report this Comment On October 22, 2013, at 7:38 PM, oldmantom wrote:

    This brings back memories of my 1998 Ford Contour. It came from the factory as a CNG/gasoline car. I recall the valve that switched between the two fuels was a weak spot - and expensive to fix. I'm sure Chevy will have a fine car. The new Impala is quite nice, but my current Impala has many more years of service left. But I'm not sure I would want another car with a big CNG tank taking up trunk space.

  • Report this Comment On October 22, 2013, at 8:15 PM, igoregor007 wrote:

    Since this is Garbage Motors, it's bound to fail. I will bring up the 350-V8 and the 4.3 V6 that was both gas and diesel versions. The main problem is they have to learn to start from the ground up and not do a conversion. With the experiences most Americans have with GM diesels that weren't from trucks is they smelled and hard to start. I also remember GM's failure with the V-8-6-4 Cadillac engine in the early 1980s - they down' do enough testing.

    Hey, car companies, how come you have never come out with a diesel-hybrid?

  • Report this Comment On October 22, 2013, at 10:38 PM, redoctober90 wrote:

    Good idea in principle, but there's a lot of setbacks. Most of it comes from how fast the fuel is expended, and the fact that the same displacement motors produce about 25% less power on CNG. Plus those tanks are heavy. I remember in central PA that State College's transit system was 100% CNG powered....and those buses at full load and A/C on could not manage 25 mph. Imagine these 4 cylinder cars with 130-140 hp and the A/C sapping 10% of that....you would probably want to start thinking about getting all that crap out of the trunk.

    Sad to say it, but every time GM comes up with alternative fuels, Tesla and their 400+ hp cars get a boost from their futility. The Big 3 were never destined to make environmentally friendly cars. In fact, one could postulate that the minute the 454 and 350 small blocks, the Windsor, and the 400+ cubic hemis were ditched for the 1.2 liter Chevy Spark (which basically makes you a lesser person to drive on a regular basis), America started losing its personality.

    Reintroduce full size, BOF, RWD V8 powered sedans. The Charger and SS are a start. Bring the Ford Falcon to the US with its 420 hp Coyote 5.0. You'll have a market for it all the time because there are a lot of men who are like me, 6'2" 250 and don't like having to bend in half or limit our speeds to double digits on the highways.

  • Report this Comment On October 23, 2013, at 6:07 AM, olafaux wrote:

    We Told You So:

    General Motors is shaking & baking now. We need this to hit the road even sooner. We will line up to buy it. All Natural Gas?????

    God bless America!

    God bless the Commander In Chief of the USA!

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