PHOENIX --- NaturalDrive Partners LLC said it has obtained EPA certification for its dedicated compressed natural gas (CNG) retrofit of 2008 Chevrolet Impala sedans powered by 3.5 liter and 3.9 liter flex-fuel engines.
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 OEM-style plug-and-play approach recalibrates a vehicle's powertrain control module to provide high performance with low emissions while retaining all of 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 E85, engine seats and valves are hardened for 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."
"Fleets and consumers have been waiting a long time for a fuel-efficient full-size natural gas sedan," added John Mitton, NaturalDrive's other co-founder. "The CNG Impala is a real smog-fighter by using clean-burning domestic natural gas in reducing carbon monoxide and NOx emissions by over 50 percent versus its gasoline counterpart."
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 the year's end.