American Honda, which markets the Civic GX natural gas vehicle, has purchased a 20 percent interest in FuelMaker Corporation, a privately held Toronto-based manufacturer of natural gas vehicle refuelling appliances.
In addition, Honda R&D Americas will provide market research information to assist FuelMaker’s efforts in developing a home refuelling appliance for natural gas vehicles. This new product will allow natural gas powered vehicles to be conveniently refuelled from a homeowner’s natural gas line, in addition to refuelling at public stations.
Currently, natural gas powered vehicles are primarily purchased by corporate and government fleets that buy alternative fuel vehicles to meet Energy Policy Act goals. In March 23 this year, for example, the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) purchased 60 Honda Civic GX dedicated natural gas vehicles, increasing its total Civic GX fleet to 110 sedans.The New York State Department of Transportation will use the Civic GX for various tasks, such as construction inspection and administrative activities.
In addition, the DOT also purchased 30 3,600 psi FuelMaker refuelling systems to be used throughout the state. Previously, the NY DOT used commercially owned compressed natural gas (CNG) refuelling stations that restricted vehicle range due to lower pressure.