Thursday, September 25, 2008

Toyota Getting back into CNG

CNG Toyota Camry Hybrid for LA Auto Show
Source - NGV Global
Wednesday, 24 September 2008 00:00

Toyota Camry HybridUSA, Portland

The CNG fuelled Honda Civic GX, could soon have company on the OEM compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle list in the US with Toyota 'confirming interest' in CNG vehicles. Continuing down the popular Toyota hybrid path Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., will test the waters with a compressed natural gas (CNG) Camry Hybrid concept vehicle to go on show at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. “With the combination of plentiful long-term supplies in North America, improved and more efficient recovery methods, favorable pricing and clean-burn/low emissions characteristics, CNG has become a prime energy-source for the future,” said Irv Miller, group vice president, TMS Corporate Communications. “With this concept, we are confirming our interest in pursuing CNG within our broad and comprehensive R&D scope.”

In 1999 Toyota marketed a CNG-powered four-cylinder Camry to fleet customers in California. However, in an era of relatively cheap gasoline, customers were not attracted to a vehicle that required special refueling techniques and a limited refueling infrastructure and the program was discontinued a year later. Currently, there are only about 1,000 CNG refueling stations nationwide, with less than half open to the public.

The benefits of CNG are currently being amplified by rapidly changing market conditions and an increase in consumer environmental awareness. At the same time its drawbacks are being mitigated by a growing awareness that advanced technologies will require investment in appropriate infrastructure. The U.S. CNG pipeline system is an approximately 1.8 million mile network and expanding.

“Natural gas,” adds Miller, “and an expanded retail-friendly CNG infrastructure could be seen as a model for future hydrogen infrastructure.”

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I am interested in CNG vehicles because they are good for the environment and aren't powered by dead Marines. I still have a little hope for the world. Read the musings and enjoy.

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