• Jan 24, 2011
2012 Honda Civic Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

At this year's Detroit Auto Show, Honda displayed concept version of the ninth-generation Civic Coupe and Sedan. Additionally, the Japanese automaker confirmed that its CNG-fueled Civic GX model will be released, for the first time ever, on a nationwide level. Though only a handful of automakers currently offer CNG-burning vehicles, a recent study by Pike Research suggests that sales of natural gas autos will increase at a steady clip over the next five years.

Pike claims that global sales of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) will rise from the 1.9 million vehicles per year reported for 2010 to more than 3.2 million units annually by 2016. Overall, Pike projects that 19.9 million CNG-fueled vehicles will roam the roads worldwide by 2016. Furthermore, the study claims that natural gas refueling stations will number nearly 26,000 globally by 2016.

Mostly, this growth won't take place in the U.S. Pike anticipates that India will lead the world in sales of CNG-burning vehicles by 2014, with Iran and Pakistan ranking second and third, respectively. By 2016, India's NGV sales are expected to hit 612,389 units. Additionally, the study claims that sales of NGVs in the U.S. market will soar by a 25.4 percent compound annual growth rate, resulting in 32,619 CNG-fueled vehicle sales in 2016. Though paltry in comparison to India's anticipated overall NGV sales, the U.S. market is projected to display the strongest five-year growth of any monitored nation, so that's something.

Live Photos Copyright ©2011 Zach Bowman / AOL

[Source: Pike Research]
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Natural Gas Vehicle Sales to Reach 3.2 Million Units Annually by 2016

Natural gas vehicles (NGVs) have been available to varying degrees since the 1970s, and earlier in some parts of the world. Despite this long history, adoption varies significantly from region to region, with NGVs used mainly for commercial vehicles in North America and parts of Western Europe and for consumer markets in parts of Asia and the Middle East. The primary growth drivers in these countries are the favorable economics of natural gas, the reduction of oil imports, the environmental benefits of lower greenhouse gas emissions, and the availability of vehicle and refueling stations. According to a new report from Pike Research, worldwide NGV sales will increase at a healthy pace over the next several years, rising from 1.9 million vehicles per year in 2010 to more than 3.2 million units annually by 2016.

"Corporate and government fleets are the strongest adopters of natural gas vehicles," says senior analyst Dave Hurst. "Not only will this trend continue, but in fact fleet sales will increase as a percentage of all NGV sales, representing two-thirds of the total market by 2013. More and more fleet managers are attracted to the lower fuel costs of natural gas, in addition to the opportunity to reduce their vehicles' carbon footprint."

Hurst adds that refueling infrastructure remains a key challenge for the NGV market, and the ratio of vehicles to stations is still too high, which is particularly a hurdle for the consumer NGV market. While the number of NGV refueling stations will increase in the coming years, Pike Research forecasts that the expanding infrastructure will not keep pace with the growth of the vehicle market. The firm expects that refueling stations will increase from approximately 18,000 in 2010 to just fewer than 26,000 in 2016, a 5.9 CAGR in natural gas vehicles on the road during the same period.

Pike Research's report, "Natural Gas Vehicles", provides a comprehensive examination of natural gas vehicle technologies, compressed and liquefied natural gas shipping and storage, governmental incentives and regulations, and key drivers of market growth. The report includes forecasts of NGV sales, refueling infrastructure, and natural gas usage through 2016 for light-duty vehicles and medium/heavy duty trucks and buses. Key market players are also profiled. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm's website.

Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The company's research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Clean Transportation, Clean Industry, and Building Efficiency sectors. For more information, visit www.pikeresearch.com or call +1.303.997.4619.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Hours Ago
      www.shopngv.com is a new site we just launched. We just came to an agreement with General Motors to market on our site. Come check it out and become a member. This site is a one stop shop for your CNG/NGV needs. We have a fleet/consumer conversion calculator along with a map that shows all Nat Gas stations. Come check it out or email us at gogreenngv@gmail.com. Thanks, Jeff Schmidt
      • 5 Hours Ago
      The blog provides helpful information regarding the topic and it also gives a vast knowledge as well which helps us in our studies and in practical life.
      • 5 Hours Ago
      CNG Civic can get in the HOV lane in CA. It may be the least expensive option. Leaf and PHV Prius may come close.
      • 5 Hours Ago
      It would be wonderful if GM produces a CNG vehicle, Then I am buyer. Many local companies have fueling stations enough for detroit to sell enough CNG cars. For example Honda is selling all the CNG Civic, Toyota is showing a model of Camry that is a CNG hybrid. As Indians are fed of rising petrol prices and there is no hope of any slowing down in this petrol prices so its better to switch to CNG automotive as well as it is eco-friendly. http://indiandrives.com/fuelstations
      • 5 Hours Ago
      A major impediment to CNG is the lack of refueling infrastructure. No doubt, they will be built to accommodate demand, as retailers are forced by law to sell alternative fuels in greater percentages.

      Building our a CNG infrastructure will also help with building out a hydrogen refuleing infrastructure, as the two gases can be delivered together from the same pipeline and be separated at the station - as will be done in Hawaii.

      Likewise, vehicles that run on CNG can benefit from the addition of hydrogen, so that the vehicle is burning a HCNG mixture. Such mixtures retail fuel economy, but eliminate a great percentage of the emissions that result from pure CNG use.

      "The HCNG (20% hydrogen, 80% CNG) engines demonstrated lower emissions, including a 50% reduction in NOx, than similar engines fueled with CNG alone with no significant change in fuel efficiency. Chassis dynamometer emission testing confirmed the substantial NOx reduction due to HCNG when the engines were integrated into transit buses."

      • 5 Hours Ago
      The fact that CNG has significantly lower power when consumed due to decreased fuel energy (HP figures are much lower eg Civic GX 1.8l 113hp vs 140 for the gasoline 1.8) and the additional weight (it needs to be compressed!) make such cars significantly slower and thus not particularly appealing to American tastes, particularly when you consider the increased cost.

      The price of CNG is relatively low compared to gasoline. Also on the green side the lower fuel energy contributes to less CO2, its relatively clean burning also makes it close to hydrogen in its smog potential. Thus currently high milage city use (taxi) or high consumption gasoline use (RV) or significantly increased costs for gasoline may make a compelling return for investment calculation.
        • 5 Hours Ago
        The energy density isn't as bad as electric as of writing, but yeah.. 150-250 miles on a full tank is a little lackluster.

        The fuel itself is cheap, but you're right.. it could very well increase in price. Fueling infrastructure sucks. The PHIL is dead now too..... i think there are better choices out there for cleaner motoring than a CNG car.
        • 5 Hours Ago
        But will the price of CNG stay low if it becomes popular? I doubt it. It's a fossil fuel controlled by the oil companies. Switching from gasoline to CNG is like switching from Coke to Sprite: same company, just different flavor.
      • 5 Hours Ago
      Fiat/Chrysler are the ones who might really set the US CNG market alight:
      'The United States is currently the number one producer of natural gas, but with few exceptions the fuel that heats millions of homes hasn’t made it’s way into our cars and trucks. Automotive News reports that Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne would like to change that in the coming years by introducing the technology in Fiat and Chrysler vehicles.

      The move makes plenty of sense for Fiat, which is currently a natural gas market leader in Europe with 80 percent of the market for methane gas-powered cars and 55 percent of the light truck market. Fiat cites cost advantages and availability of natural gas as main reasons to push the technology in the U.S. A natural gas-powered vehicle carries a $3,000 price premium over the typical petrol mill, compared to $3,300 for diesel and $8,000 for an electric hybrid. '


      Fiat has the technology, and will be assisted in getting a roll-out of CNG stations in the US by their link up with Chrysler.
      • 5 Hours Ago
      Honda really has produced a lackluster NGV. I don't know why.

      The VW Passat Ecofuel is the one to look up to. It's a bi-fuel. Total (gas and cng) range is about 500 mi. I'd not use the gasoline part when driving around town or on shorter highway trips. But it would be nice to have for longer trips. And you'd never get stuck looking for CNG.

      The pieces of the puzzle that make cars more fun to drive are there in the vw and not in the GX:
      1. Better acceleration (through the super charger and twin charger in the VW).
      2. A more efficient transmission.
      3. The fuel line in the GX isn't pressurized. So it becomes a slower pig when the fuel is low. The supercharger on vw keeps this from happening.

      The vw's a bit pricier, but worth it.
      • 5 Hours Ago
      I just read a blog same as your topic with the blog of ( http://www.firstchoicecarsales.com/) I enjoy reading both– I'm often amazed by how much you dictated each informations that we really needed. Nice one, thanks for sharing this to us.
      • 5 Hours Ago
      The US has had natural gas vehicles available for sale for many years - the Honda Civic GX for example - but it never has caught on. Then again, it wasn't really advertised either, so hardly anyone knew they could actually buy a natural gas powered vehicle.
        • 5 Hours Ago
        "...the Honda Civic GX for example - but it never has caught on."

        That's funny. Honda sold every CNG Civic they made, and were even accused of malfeasance by making it hard to get. That's why Honda announced they were increasing production - there is apparently a greater demand for CNG than Honda anticipated.


        "Japanese Honda is suppressing its own alternative fuel technology and denying its cars and home refueling devices to Americans eager to get off of oil."

        "Nowhere is this suppression strategy more visible than with the Honda GX, sometimes called “the greenest car in America.” Honda has ensured GX is also “the most unavailable car in America.”

        "But then a clear and present solution to oil dependence suddenly began to go bad. First, the vehicle was deliberately made less attractive. For example, Honda has earned a reputation for outfitting its cars with some of the finest audio systems and GPS navigation units on the highway. But these were not available with the GX. The stereo was whole steps behind gasoline-based Civics. Nor was GPS available. The company will not explain why it dumbed down the GX, especially since many upscale drivers wanted the vehicle."

        "For now, Honda has discussed resuming production in June 2009 and adding a few dozen cars per month as a token gesture. But for now, nothing is certain except that the company will probably answer inquiries by claiming gas stations do not exist for the home-refueled vehicle, and that there is no demand for such a car. It is unknown if Honda will erase the exclusion zone around Spokane and finally permit anyone there to purchase even one."

        • 5 Hours Ago
        There's at least one reason they didn't sell many: They only sold them in limited markets (California, New York, Utah and Oklahoma, according to Wikipedia):


        Personally, I like the idea of CNG vehicles - but also realize they don't fundamentally alter the underlying weaknesses in our current situation. I pay at least a little attention to this topic: There's a publicly accessible CNG-equipped fuel station near my home.
      • 5 Hours Ago
      i have been pleased after reading this blog the knowledge which has been provided via this blog is simply tremendous.
      i really appreciate the blogger for doing this work.
      • 5 Hours Ago
      Sure it's a fossil fuel the price is volatile and assuming economic recovery will increase
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