American Honda is working directly with FuelMaker Corporation to complete development of a natural gas home refueling appliance.
Honda, which has owned almost 20 percent of Toronto-based FuelMaker Corporation since 2000, is working directly with FuelMaker to complete development of Phill, the natural gas home refueling appliance.
As part of this alliance, Honda and FuelMaker are announcing plans to begin retail sales of the refueling appliance and Civic GX natural gas vehicle beginning in California in spring 2005. The Civic GX, now in its seventh year of sales in the U.S., has to this point been marketed only to fleets.
The Phill appliance will be available for purchase in limited quantities in California by spring 2005 at an approximate retail price of $2,000. Depending on Federal, State, and local government rebates, the actual cost of ownership may be reduced to consumers.
“The biggest obstacle to broader acceptance of natural gas vehicles is the limited availability of refueling stations,” said Tom Elliott, executive vice president of American Honda. “This alliance with FuelMaker is great for Honda because it will give our customers a personalized solution to refueling. Our research indicates people like the convenience of filling up at home.”
I’ll be very interested to see what sort of adoption this scheme actually gets. If the ability to refuel at home boosts natural gas vehicle sales, it could pave the way for home hydrogen stations of the future (technology permitting).