PHOENIX – NaturalDrive Partners, LLC has obtained EPA certification for its dedicated compressed natural gas (CNG) retrofit of 2008 Chevrolet Impala sedans powered by 3.5L and 3.9L flex-fuel engines in models LS, LT, LTZ, as well as law enforcement packages 9C1 and 9C3. NaturalDrive's retrofit package incorporates 10.4 gasoline gallon-equivalents of CNG storage at 3600 psi, providing an estimated range of 220 to 300 miles, while leaving ample trunk space for taxi, municipal, and consumer applications.
NaturalDrive's innovative OEM-style plug-and-play approach recalibrates a vehicle's powertrain control module to provide strong performance with low emissions while retaining the engine diagnostics and scan tool capability found in the original gasoline configuration. Use of a new pressure regulator system design allows low pressure natural gas to flow to the engine using existing GM fuel lines while high pressure fuel is contained in the rear of the vehicle in lightweight cylinders. Since Chevrolet Impalas are already designed to run on E-85, engine seats and valves are hardened for excellent long-term durability while operating on 130 octane compressed natural gas.
"We feel the bar has been raised considerably with this new design," said Kevin Fern, NaturalDrive's co-founder. "The NaturalDrive CNG Impala is the first alternative-fuel sedan to require no additional wiring to be performed under the hood, no coolant to be run to the regulator, and minimal tubing to be installed on the vehicle. Authorized dealers are able to easily install NaturalDrive retrofit systems in less than 45 minutes under the hood."
NaturalDrive's 2008 CNG Impala is available now via authorized installers in Oklahoma, Utah, Arizona, Alabama, Colorado, and Indiana, with Texas and Florida opening soon. EPA certification for model-year 2009 is expected to be complete by year-end.