Honda Seeks Natural Gas Refueling At Dealerships

American Honda is attempting to get some of its California dealers to help it overcome the catch-22 facing acceptance of its Civic Natural Gas by installing refueling facilities on site.

Steve Center, U.S. vice president for environmental business development said in an interview with Automotive News this week that talks are ongoing with state regulators and he’d like to see facilities in place this year at two or more dealerships to start.

“If the dealer had a fueling station, it would really reduce some of that concern for the customer,” Center told the reporter at Honda’s Torrance, Calif. headquarters. “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.”

As of Dec. 2010, there were about 1,000 stations and 112,000 natural gas vehicles on the road according to the International Association for Natural Gas Vehicles.

For Honda to meet its annual goal of 4,000-5000 sales for the Indiana-made Civic Natural Gas, Carter said dealership stations could “fill in holes” and at this stage, they are still part of a test case Honda would monitor. Details it would study include how many CNG vehicles it refueled per day with an eye toward proliferating them, if the idea proves successful.

This news follows announcements by Detroit automakers this week to introduce a limited supply of CNG-capable pickup trucks for fleet customers.

The Civic Natural Gas was named 2012 Green Car of the Year at the LA Auto Show a few months ago. It costs $$2,100 more than the hybrid version at $26,155.


  • mitchell

    Honda needs to build on the momentum created by winning Green Car of the Year just a few months ago. No one else makes a passenger car that runs on natural gas, so this has the makings of a halo car, just like the Prius 10 years ago. The Prius was low-volume for a long time, but even then it gave Toyota lots of buzz–something Honda sorely needs right now.
    So it’s Honda’s responsibility to install natural gas filling stations at its dealerships. Just having people come in and out to refuel, on a regular basis, would awe other customers, so the filling station would be a marketing tool as well. Honda could even put up “Natural Gas Filling Station” signs at its dealerships, which might lure in new customers.

  • Old Grumpy

    Since our president is such a believer in Green energy I have a cure for our lack of infrastructure. He could give Wal-Mart a subside for every fueling station they build at their stores. These would include C.N.G. fueling stations, Plug-in recharging spots, Hydrogen filling pumps & even Ethanol & Gasoline! Of course Wal-Mart would make money on the service just like a gas station. The advantage of useing Wal-Mart is that there is one in almost everytown in the U.S. So you could plan your cross country trips based on their locations.

  • James Davis

    That is an excellent idea Honda. Where I live there is no CNG stations anywhere in the state. Dealerships who sell electric cars could also install recharging stations; there are none of those in the state neither. General Electric has a solar park that boasts 40 supercharge recharging stations and can recharge 13 electric cars at a time. When there is no cars charging, the energy supplies the dealership with free electricity and the rest is put into the grid. It is pure gravy for the dealership.

    As soon as there are more CNG vehicles on the road, CNG is going to skyrocket in price just like gasoline is now, so dealerships will be paying more for CNG and the customer will be in the same shape they are now with gasoline.

    It would be very wise if Honda came out with electric cars and supply their dealerships with supercharge recharging stations along with the CNG stations.

  • James Davis

    That is a very good idea. Some Wal-Marts are already installing recharging stations and have gas stations and coupled with CNG and hydrogen, Wal-Mart would triple their profits.

  • John K.

    James Davis wrote:
    “As soon as there are more CNG vehicles on the road, CNG is going to skyrocket in price just like gasoline is now, so dealerships will be paying more for CNG and the customer will be in the same shape they are now with gasoline.”

    John K writes:
    “As soon as there are more electric vehicles on the road, electricity is going to skyrocket in price just like gasoline is now, so dealerships will be paying more for electricity and the customer will be in the same shape they are now with gasoline.”

    See, anyone can spread FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) around, that’s why citations to sources that support such radical assertions are essential.

    When you have major players (CNG producers, heavy truck engine manufacturers, and gov’t officials), all coming out for CNG vehicles, the onus is on you to prove, not just assert, that they are all wrong and you’re right.

  • John K.

    Funny how neither hybridCARS nor plugincars have mentioned this video interview and news article from Yahoo’s The Daily Ticker, where Ron Adner — professor of strategy at Dartmouth University and author of the new book, The Wide Lens: A Strategy for Innovation — claims, “the current approach to the electric car is doomed to fail in the mass market.”

    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/why-electric-car-doomed-fail-150050289.html

  • Max Reid

    Why paying 25K for Civic CNG

    Watch this video of Yo-Mobil Tribrid.
    http://www.ngvjournal.com/en/home/item/8390
    Its Bi-fuel (Gasolene / CNG) has ultracapacitors, 2 motors and its going to cost just 15K and will be sold in Russia.

  • Kere

    Great car! This is the future of automotive! Let’s wait for new models! http://homwarez.com

  • Don Summers

    A natural gas refueling station at Crown Honda in Redding,
    California would connect Sacramento and Chico to
    Medford, Oregon on Interstate 5 for Honda CNG Civics.
    A second CNG station at Power Honda in Albany, Oregon
    would connect California to Lakewood and Seattle in the state of Washington.

  • jones22

    I think this would be so good to see if Honda offered this. So much that you can get from all of this. I think this will have to come in the future. orlando network company