Honda to sell natural gas cars in U.S.

Kyodo

Honda Motor Co. said Tuesday it plans to market Civic GX sedans powered by natural gas in the United States, utilizing a newly developed home fueling appliance that can pump gas from a regular household outlet.

The fueling device, developed by FuelMaker Corp., a U.S. environmental technology firm owned 20 percent by Honda.

It is expected to go on sale in late 2003.

Honda says the device, known as Phill, can be mounted in a garage and allows vehicles powered by natural gas to be refueled directly from a homeowner’s normal supply line.

The fueling device is expected to retail at around $1,000.

“Home refueling will help increase consumer acceptance of natural gas-powered vehicles like the Civic GX by making home refueling affordable and convenient,” said Robert Bienenfeld, senior manager of product planning at American Honda Co.

The Civic GX, manufactured at a Honda plant in Ohio, is equipped with a 1.7-liter, 4-cylinder engine and has a range of up to 320 km on one tank, according to Honda.