May 5, 2011

WE HAVE PLENTY OF NATURAL GAS:

Rising gasoline prices fuel the growing appeal of compressed natural gas vehicles: Honda, the only automaker selling natural gas passenger cars, has seen sales of its Civic GX almost triple so far this year and interest in converting conventional vehicles to natural gas is growing because it costs about half as much as gasoline. (Jerry Hirsch, 5/04/11, Los Angeles Times)

[W]hile demand is rising, there just aren't many vehicles to choose from, so a growing number of consumers are purchasing Ford's old CNG Crown Victoria and looking at retrofitting used natural gas cars, creating an aftermarket for such autos.

For the moment, Honda is the only major automaker selling natural gas passenger cars in the U.S.

Honda, which makes the CNG-powered Civic GX in Indiana, has sold a record number so far this year. Although the volume was small — 643 — it was almost triple the number sold during the same period a year earlier and the company expects to run out of the cars this summer as it gets ready to sell a larger, redesigned version this fall. The current version gets 24 miles per gallon in city driving and 36 on the highway. The next-generation vehicle is expected to have better fuel economy.

Honda wants to double annual production to at least 2,000 and maybe more, depending on parts availability from earthquake stricken Japan. The cars list for $25,490 and are sold at 139 dealers in 33 states. Honda plans to certify more dealers to service and sell the cars this year, pushing it into more regions where there are natural gas filling stations, Honda spokesman Eric Rosenberg said.

"The interest in this car has grown significantly," he said, which is why the automaker plans to pack it with more options, such as a navigation system and rear stereo speakers and aluminum wheels.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Posted by at May 5, 2011 5:25 AM
  

blog comments powered by Disqus
« NOT TO MENTION THE MONEY WE'D SAVE AS A SOCIETY ON TAX RETURN PREPARATION: | Main | WHEREAS THE LEGISLATORS HAVE CREATED THE DEFICIT: »