Honda dealers in Oklahoma are now able to sell the compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered Honda Civic GX to customers on a retail basis, American Honda Motor Co. Inc. said.

There are 13 Honda dealers in Oklahoma, three of which have been selling the Civic GX as a fleet vehicle.

“Honda seeks market opportunities for the Civic GX where strong natural gas refueling infrastructure exists, and we continue to see its promise as a clean, sustainable, domestically sourced alternative fuel,” said Honda’s Elmer Hardy, senior manager of alternative fuel vehicle sales and marketing.

Honda is the only original equipment manufacturer (OEM) currently selling a CNG-powered vehicle on a retail basis in the United States. Additionally, the Civic GX is the only OEM-built, CNG-powered passenger car assembled in America. The Civic GX is built on the same assembly line as the gasoline-powered Civic four-door models at Honda’s Greensburg, IN, plant.

In 2006 the Civic GX became available for the first time to retail customers in California. Since then, retail sales have expanded to New York, Utah and now Oklahoma. Currently, 43 dealers in California, 19 in New York and eight in Utah have added retail addendums to their Honda sales agreements. When including dealerships that sell fleet vehicles, there are 134 Civic GX dealers in 33 states.

“Oklahoma is an ideal market to expand retail sales of the Civic GX with its low refueling costs, a generous state tax incentive toward the purchase of a new Civic GX and solid fleet sales,” Honda said. “As the second largest natural gas producing state in the U.S., Oklahoma already has a strong existing CNG station infrastructure with robust plans to expand the network over the next several years.”

Fleet use of natural gas-powered vehicles is gaining traction, too, with a recent deal for Clean Energy Fuels Corp. subsidiary BAF to convert 501 Ford E-250 Series vans to CNG power for telecommunications provider Verizon (see Daily GPI, April 23).

On a larger scale, United Parcel Service (UPS) operates 11 liquefied natural has (LNG) tractor-trailers within its West Coast fleet. The tractor-trailers travel each day from California to Nevada.

And UPS claims to have one of the largest private fleets of CNG vehicles in the U.S., with more than 1,100 package delivery vehicles. UPS began extensively using CNG in 1989 to assess its benefits and viability. With CNG particulate emissions are 95% lower than with diesel engines; carbon monoxide emissions are 75% lower; and emissions of nitrogen oxides are 49% lower, UPS said. In January UPS deployed an additional 245 CNG vehicles in the United States.

©Copyright 2010Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news reportmay not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, in anyform, without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.