Apr 9, 2009 | 7
FuelMaker, the Honda-owned, Canada-based manufacturer of natural gas fueling systems for vehicles, went belly-up last week. The company made the only residential natural gas refueling product (called Phill) in the world.
Fortunately for vehicle owners, Honda plans to sell the company’s assets and intellectual property, meaning FuelMaker products, albeit under a different name, are likely to remain available, says Alicia Milner, president of the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance.
FuelMaker was born of automakers’ desire to address the public’s urge to break or at least lessen its addiction to fossil fuels. Car companies have increasingly turned to batteries, hydrogen, and solar power to energize new generations of vehicles. Less conspicuous in this shift to cleaner fuels has been natural gas, far cleaner burning than gasoline, and already the leading alternative fuel source for U.S. commercial fleets, powering about 10 percent of the mass transit buses in the U.S. and 5 percent of those in Canada, Milner says. The monthly consumption of natural gas by domestic vehicles has quadrupled the last decade as more vehicles have taken to the streets, according to the Energy Information Administration.
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