Honda has announced that it will no longer offer its compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered Civic, leaving some to wonder what significance this decision might have regarding the overall U.S. natural gas vehicle (NGV) industry. The manufacturer also will discontinue its Civic Hybrid model.
John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co. Inc.’s automobile division, released a statement explaining the company’s decision.
He says that rather than offering alternative fuel versions of the Civic, the company is focusing on advancing the car’s fuel efficiency with conventional engine technology. Honda will launch an all-new Civic this fall featuring downsized gasoline engines, including a turbocharged, direct-injected model. According to Mendel, these new Civics are expected to have a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highway fuel economy rating of over 40 mpg.
Mendel says Honda will stop offering both the Civic Natural Gas and the Civic Hybrid with the end of the 2015 model year. Honda has already ceased production of the NGV at the company’s Indiana plant, but Mendel says the firm will “continue to provide a high level of service to our existing customers through CNG-certified Honda dealers.”