UPDATE: Clarification on CR-Z at bottom.
Honda is doing a bit of late spring cleaning as it looks to get its hybrid house in order. The automaker announced production of the Civic CNG has ended and multiple hybrid models will soon get the axe.
Honda isn’t abandoning hybrid technology, however, as John Mendel, Executive Vice President, Automobile Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., hinted there are replacements in the pipeline in a release sent out today.
Aside from a few trucks, some taxis and a fair number of buses, natural gas doesn’t receive a lot of play in the alternative energy game in comparison to darlings such as electric power and hydrogen. Despite this condition, Chevrolet and Honda are both ready to push natural gas onto commuters and efficiency-minded consumers alike.
Crowdfunding has been used to deliver financing to projects ranging from fashion collections and film productions, to food trucks and the occasional work that ends up bombing while investors are left holding nothing (not even the bag their were promised as a gift for investing).
This project may be a success or failure, but if all goes as promised, Michigan’s Performance CNG will be able to deliver a CNG-powered 2003 Ford Mustang while demonstrating all compressed natural gas can do in the name of energy independence.
Honda has announced that the hybrid gas-electric version of the 2014 Civic is now available across the United States and that later this month the compressed natural gas powered Civic will join the lineup in 37 states. The hybrid is rated by the EPA at 44/47/45 city/highway/combined miles per gallon while the CNG Civic is rated at 31 mpg across the board. Prices start at $24,635 for the hybrid and $26,640 for the CNG model. (Read More…)
Mazda3 Skyactiv-CNG Concept
Last week, Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai said that the company had no plans for a production Wankel rotary anytime in the near future, though the company most identified with the engine that goes “hmmmm” will continue to do research on rotaries. Now, at the Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda is showing that its future powertrain plans include diesel, natural gas and hybrid drives.
With a few successes under Ford’s strap with the American buckle, the Blue Oval made be known its aspirations to go for the world championship belt in ferrying drunk revelers and harried air travelers with their Transit Connect Taxi in its debut in Hong Kong.
Looking to take advantage of the natural gas boom currently occurring in America, Chevrolet will market a bi-fuel version of its Impala sedan starting next year.
Starting with the 2014 model year, for the first time Ford will be offering F-150 buyers the option of running on compressed natural gas or liquid propane gas in addition to gasoline. Automotive News reports that interested can spec a F-150 with the 3.7 liter V6 engine, and then receive a factory-installed CNG/LPG prep package that includes hardened valves, valve seats, pistons and rings. The actual conversions would be done by six CNG/LPG conversion companies that have been certified by Ford as “qualified vehicle modifiers”. As long as the conversion is done by one of those six firms, Ford will honor all factory warranties on the engine. Depending on the size of the fuel tank that’s installed, the cost of the conversions will be between $8,000 and $11,000 a vehicle, but running on gas can be significantly cheaper than running on gasoline or diesel, and the cost of the conversion can be more than paid back over the life of the vehicle.
Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne finds it “most shocking” that the U.S. auto industry is not throwing its might behind natural gas, which has been found in abundance in the United States: (Read More…)
“We do not need incentives for natural gas technology to drive adoption,” Bill Larkin, CFO of Westport Innovations, a Vancouver-based developer of technology that allows truck and bus engines to run on natural gas, told Reuters in an interview:
“It actually hurts the investment in this technology because the U.S. government has been dangling this carrot … and so investments are delayed.” (Read More…)
Cars that use little or no gasoline seem to have a bit of a hard time, no matter how badly people want them. 22 states decided to do something unusual: They tell American carmakers to make natural gas-powered vehicles, and the states will buy them for state fleets. (Read More…)
America may be the world’s up-and-c0ming natural gas producer, but if you have a car powered by CNG, good luck finding a station. CNG terminals are thin on the ground in certain parts of the country, and half of them are closed to the public.
GM’s Dan Akerson spoke to the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board on Thursday, and discussed both compressed natural gas capabilities, and the need to streamline powertrains in the post-bankruptcy era.
Westport Innovations has just signed a second deal with General Motors to produce light duty natural gas engines, and it’s probably not the last time we’ll be seeing these kind of partnerships forming. Natural gas vehicles have been explored previously on TTAC, but the technology hasn’t been fully explored in-depth, aside from some well-informed comments in various articles.