IBJNews

Honda looks to dealers to boost natural gas station network

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Honda Motor Co., the only automaker selling compressed natural gas-powered cars to U.S. drivers, wants some of its dealers to also install pumps to sell the fuel as its seeks to double sales of CNG vehicles.

Boosting sales of Indiana-built Civic Natural Gas sedans requires more fuel stations, said Steve Center, Honda's U.S. vice president for environmental business development. Honda is negotiating with regulators in California, the biggest U.S. market for CNG vehicles, seeking to have pumps placed at two or more Honda dealerships this year, he said Tuesday.

“If the dealer had a fueling station, it would really reduce some of that concern for the customer,” Center said at Honda’s U.S. headquarters in Torrance, Calif. “It’s not our place to create infrastructure, but it’s a chicken-and-egg situation and we’re going to have to nurse that egg along.”

Honda’s strategy of marketing autos powered by natural gas, a domestically sourced fuel that’s cheaper than gasoline and emits less tailpipe exhaust, comes as U.S.-based competitors plan their own CNG models. General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC this week both said they’re readying pickups that will run on the fuel.

The United States on Tuesday raised its forecast for natural gas output in 2012 by 0.4 percent and lowered its outlook for prices. Marketed gas production will average 67.91 billion cubic feet a day in 2012, up from 67.64 billion estimated in February, the Energy Department said in its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook, released in Washington, D.C.

The International Association for Natural Gas Vehicles says on its website there were 1,000 stations and 112,000 natural gas vehicles in the U.S. as of December 2010.

Currently, 270 U.S. Honda dealers plan to sell the Civic Natural Gas, a revamped version of the Civic GX compact sold since the 1990s. The Tokyo-based carmaker’s initial goal is to sell “4,000 to 5,000” CNG vehicles annually, double the previous annual rate, Center said.

The car is made at Honda's plant in Greensburg, about 50 miles southeast of Indianapolis.

Details such as the cost of a CNG station at a dealership, how many vehicles it could serve a day and how many such facilities may be established are still being studied, Center said. Honda can work with dealers to obtain needed permits, apply for public incentives and provide financing, he said.

“Something like this helps fill in holes,” Center said. “We want to select a couple of test cases and walk through it.”

Honda’s Civic Natural Gas sedan costs $26,155, or $2,100 more than a hybrid version of the compact model. The car was named 2012 Green Car of the Year at the Los Angeles auto show in November.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I think the poster was being sarcastic and only posting or making fun of what is usually posted on here about anything being built in BR or d'town for that matter.

  2. Great news IRL fans: TURBO the IMS sanctioned movie about slugs running the Indy 500 has caught the Securities and Exchange Commission because Dreamworks had to take a $132MILLION write down...because the movie was such a flop. See, the Indy/IMS magic soiled another pair of drawers. Bwahahahahahaha! How's CARTOWN doing? HAHAHAHA...Indy is for losers.

  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

  4. I read the retail roundup article and tried Burritos and Beers tonight. I'm glad I did, for the food was great. Fresh authentic Mexican food. Great seasoning on the carne asada. A must try!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

ADVERTISEMENT