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Report: Honda to sell natural gas Civic across US

The Nikkei reports that Honda Motor Co. will market its natural-gas-powered Civic GX nationwide in the US starting this fall when a new model is released.

Honda first released the Civic GX in the state of California in 1998 and currently offers the car in four states. At first, Honda marketed the car to government agencies and commercial users, but starting in 2005 it also began offering to lease the Civic GX to individual consumers.

The decision to go nationwide reflects the heightened interest in environmental cars in the US. Natural-gas-propelled cars are seen by some as even greener than all-electric vehicles, because the latter charge their batteries using electricity often generated by fossil-fuel-fired power plants.

Comments

SJC

They are going to have to support companies like Fuel Maker for compressors better than they did if they want to make it. People like the home fueling option, but Honda's recent behavior towards Fuel Maker leaves doubt.

ai_vin

amen

Herm

Those units are very expensive and maintenance prone.. plus you need piped-in gas, why not refuel at a CNG facility?

The advantage of NG is low cost, if you want home refueling get a Leaf.

SJC

If there were enough CNG filling stations, that might be the case, but around here there are not. We have over 200,000 people in this valley and 1 in 4 vehicles is a large pickup or SUV, but no E85 pumps and no CNG filling stations.

Plus you have the range issue, if the range is about 100 miles you go to the CNG filling station every day, that is not convenient. If you have a home refueling compressor, you just connect the hose every night when you get home. Natural gas in piped into more than 10,000 homes here and the fuel costs half as much per BTU compared with gasoline or diesel.

william g irwin

The maintenance costs and availabiliy of 'Phill' compressors, plus the lack of Cng at fuel stations anywhere, are the 2 main reasons I lost interest in CNG as an alternative fuel. It has similar disadvantages to Hydrogen otherwise. What we need is the gas compressor at most of the fuel stations, like air only much higher pressure. Expensive so far!

SJC

They could go with ANG for home refueling, but you would have to promote that for refueling stations as well at some point. The home refueling station would have to purify the natural gas before putting it in the ANG tanks, but the pressure is more like 300 psi rather than 3000 psi, so the compressor costs are lower.

SJC

I was watching a show on hydrogen filling and they said that they had several stages of pressure. First 1000 psi, then a higher range and they higher. If you do CNG/ANG the same way there is no problem.

First range could be 300 psi starting at 600 psi and balancing volume and pressure through a regulator. ALL the NG is purified so it can fill CNG or ANG with the same equipment. The final level is 3000 psi for CNG and you should be able to get 100 miles of range in 5 minutes or so.

The other caveat about ANG, other than purified methane is weight. Large enough volumes of adsorbant weigh up. If it is activated carbon, it can double or triple the weight of the tank.

The tank can weigh less due to lower pressure, but when you put several cubic feet of carbon in there weighing close to 100 pounds per cubic foot, the overall weight will be significant. That extra weight in the back could balance the weight distribution, but it is always there decreasing mileage a bit.

Reel$$

Just checked on CNG filling in the Seattle area. There are about 4 spread out. Each requires an account and pre-authorization to use. The inconvenience is greater than having to plug in an EV IMO. This will limit CNG to private fleets with their own fueling stations.

SJC

That is a credible analysis. People go with what is easier. If they can plug into 110 VAC in their garage in the U.S. that is easier than adding a 220 VAC outlet. Both are easier than having the gas piped to a compressor to fill the tank.

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