Natural Gas Remains Viable But Niche Green Fuel

It appears that in 2014 Honda will sell fewer than 1,000 Honda Civic models that run on compressed natural gas. CNG, a clean fuel produced in greatly expanding quantities in the United States, is also an economic greener alternative to gasoline and diesel. However, considering that Honda sold about twice as many Civic CNG cars (see photo) last year suggests that consumers remain hesitant about the gaseous fuel.

For years, automakers have promised to expand the number of CNG models available to U.S. shoppers. In February, Chevrolet announced that the 2015 Chevy Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD heavy-duty models would be available with CNG-capable bi-fuel 6.0-liter V8 engines, sold at all Chevrolet dealerships nationwide.

In the past few weeks, there were more announcements about new CNG offerings. Michigan-based Crazy Diamond Performance received EPA approval on two new retrofit compressed natural gas small passenger vehicles, the CNG Chevrolet Cruze and CNG Chevrolet Sonic. These platforms, which run exclusively on CNG, are the first of a series of small and fuel efficient vehicles coming from CDP.

“These vehicles provide flexibility for fleets looking to purchase a domestic small mono-fuel passenger sedan, but have not had an option until now,” said Michelle Fern, executive vice president at CDP Inc. “There are significant emissions benefits over its gasoline counterpart, with an average reduction in CO2 of 25 percent.”

Meanwhile, Mercedes in October shared information about a version of its B-Class compact that runs on natural gas. It will be sold in Europe, but could be made available in the U.S. in the future. Mercedes recently began selling an all-electric version of the B-Class in select U.S. cities. Both alternative drive Mercedes models used an “energy space” to store the fuel (or batteries) under the body of the vehicle.

The Mercedes B200 Natural Gas Drive features CO2 emissions that are 16 percent lower than ga

Article by Brad Berman, appearing courtesy ebay Green Driving.

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