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Honda opens new natural gas station

Honda on Wednesday opened new compressed natural gas station on its Marysville campus, the first public CNG filling station on Honda property anywhere in North America.

The CNG station, along with recent recognition from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, is part of the automaker’s recent efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its operations, company officials said. The station will be open to the public and is located at the intersection of Ohio 33 and Ohio 739 near Honda’s manufacturing facility.

The project has been in the works for more than two years, said Mike Saneholtz of Honda’s North America Logistics Group. The primary users will be transportation companies who deliver parts to Honda manufacturing facilities daily. The station can serve both light-duty service trucks or passenger vehicles.

“Primarily our highest volume is in Ohio between our Marysville and East Liberty plants so that seemed to lend itself to a good starting point,” Saneholtz said.

Natural gas powers only about 150,000 vehicles in the United States and 15.2 million vehicles worldwide, according the U.S. Department of Energy. CNG vehicles are good for high-mileage fleets which operate within a limited area, according to that agency’s website.

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Honda does not manufacture CNG vehicles, but is analyzing using alternative fuels including CNG and fuel-cell technology, said Eric Mauk, a Honda spokesman. The new station was designed and will be operated by Trillium CNG.

Honda is a major employer both in the region and across Ohio. About 1,400 workers from Clark and Champaign counties work for the automaker, and it employs about 13,000 Ohioans overall.

There are still fewer than 40 public CNG stations statewide, according to information from Clean Fuels Ohio, a non-profit advocacy group that promotes alternative fuels. But they are becoming increasingly popular with cities and businesses that maintain vehicle fleets. The vehicles are more expensive initially but the fuel is much less expensive, particularly when entities receive contracted pricing that can lead to better prices.

“There’s still not a lot of individuals who own natural gas-powered cars,” said Sam Spofforth, executive director of Clean Fuels Ohio. “But it’s really becoming increasingly popular as a fuel for fleets.”

Earlier this month, Honda’s Marysville, East Liberty and Anna facilities received the Ohio EPA’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence Gold-Level Award, which serves as an incentive to companies to reduce waste and improve environmental performance.

Honda has taken steps like sending more than 94 percent of its manufacturing waste to be recycled for the last three years and reduced electricity use by implementing hydrogen fuel cell technology in industrial vehicles like forklifts, according to information from the company.

This article was written by Matt Sanctis from Springfield News-Sun, Ohio and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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