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Honda Says No to Natural Gas and Yes to Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

Honda is shifting gears, so to speak, in regard to the building and marketing of their lineup of alternative fuel cars over the next several years. Honda is saying “No” to their Natural Gas Civic which they have been selling since 1998 and they are saying “Yes” to their future hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

According to Reuters, “John Mendel, speaking with reporters in Detroit, said the company had sold about 16,000 natural gas-fueled Civic compact cars since 1998 in a limited sales area of the United States. He said the falling price of gasoline relative to natural gas helped lead Honda to deciding to drop the car …

“…Mendel said any inconvenience for customers of alternative fuel vehicles, such as not being able to find a refueling station, will put them off. But he added that he is more confident of a robust hydrogen fueling station network than he was for natural gas stations, in large part because he expects more government help in establishing a hydrogen refueling network.”

Honda also said they will be introducing more hybrids, plug-in hybrids and a full battery electric vehicle within the next 3 years.

I am a bit surprised by Honda’s decision to ditch the CNG. In southern California where I’m located I have seen quite a few people driving the Honda natural gas car over the years. In fact, this CNG stations map shows pretty good coverage throughout the United States.

But, as with all cars, the market shall determine which ones stay and which ones go. And, even though it was a bold experiment, it is now time for those fracking natural gas cars to ride off into the sunset and for the cleaner and greener hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to take their places.


About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola

I’m a hydrogen car blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen cars, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

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  1. Nicholas M. Reitano

    The cleanest technology would be to store renewable energy directly into a battery. Would it not?

    Also the best infrastructure for alternative fuel vehicles would be to plug in your car into existing outlets.

    I am not all against HFCV’s. A cool idea that Chris McWhinney is trying to do is have a hydrogen refueling station in your own garage to refuel your HFCV. This would eliminate the need for transporting hydrogen in diesel semi trucks. But this is dangerous and the market is not quite there yet as opposed to battery electric vehicles.

    If anyone would like to convince me why I should dedicate my life to fuel cells instead of batteries please feel free to contact me. I love a good discussion.

    Nicholas M. Reitano
    A.C.S. Chemistry Major
    University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
    Class of 2017

  2. Hydro Kevin Kantola

    There are lots of way to store clean energy using hydrogen. One is electrolysis via solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower, etc.

    Yes, home hydrogen fueling stations are a great idea and more work needs to be done on this. Hydrogen doesn’t need to be transported by trucks as it can be made onsite and on-demand. SunHydro, Hydrogenics and ITM Power do this along with several other companies.

    As Al Gore may say it’s a “False Choice” to say you need to support either battery electric cars or hydrogen fuel cell cars. You can do both. The cleanest vehicle that I see going forward would be a plug-in hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that offers the best of both worlds.

    By the way, hydrogen fuel cell cars can drive 300+ miles before refueling and refueling only takes 5 minutes which is why battery electric cars are not quite there yet (and may never competitive).


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