Bi-Fuel Impala’s Gas Tank Deflects Bullets, Fire
Chevrolet engineers weren’t messing around when they designed the Bi-Fuel Impala’s gas tank. The tank, which holds the compressed natural gas (CNG) that can power the 2015 Bi-Fuel Chevrolet Impala, was put through more strenuous testing than is required in the industry, and still came out victorious.
That testing included a Bonfire Test, to make sure the tank won’t, you know, catch fire. But Chevy did more than just subject the tank to an 800-degree Fahrenheit fire just four inches below it; the automaker also added fires to the trunk, underbody, and back seat. Also included in the testing was the Penetration Test, which involves a tank being filled to its service pressure and then being shot at with a 7.62 millimeter armor piercing bullet. Additionally, whereas some CNG-conversion kit manufacturers only submit their vehicles to barrier tests, Chevy was sure to include front barrier, side impact, and rear impact crash tests.
Nichole Kraatz, the chief engineer for the Impala, explained, “We designed this system for those ‘what if’ situations,” you know, like what if the mafia is shooting at you as you drive across a burning bridge? She added, “The customer shouldn’t even know it’s there. They shouldn’t even think about it. CNG should just be another fuel they use to power their vehicle.”
The tank valve and connection are protected by a massive piece of cast aluminum. Chevy’s also added sheet metal plates on both sides of the tank to further protect it.
Need more convincing of the Bi-Fuel Impala’s safety? Check out this infographic, courtesy of Chevy:
Photo Source: GM