TROY – American Honda Motor Company Inc. announced on Wednesday the opening of a public compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling station at its parts distribution center in Troy.
The station primarily serves suppliers and logistics companies that transport goods for Honda’s manufacturing operations.
The station is also available to service the general public and other businesses.
The CNG station, which was designed, constructed and will be operated by Trillium CNG, is the second public CNG station located on a Honda property in North America, following one opened at Honda of America Manufacturing in Marysville this past August.
Logistics Analyst for American Honda Motor Company Inc., Adam Bishop said American Honda is committed to reducing environmental impact, which led to a partnership with Trillium CNG and Honda’s business transportation partners.
The project has taken about five years to develop. According to Bishop, American Honda started with natural gas trucks in the very early stage in California, and from there developed plans to build a private station on the Troy property.
“The costs were prohibitive, the technology was still fairly new and uncertain, we didn’t have the resources to contain the vehicles nor did we have a niche that was a good fit for our needs at the time,” he said. “Then the engine design and our maintenance infrastructure started to develop and the rules changed on that forever.”
As part of its overall vision to reduce total company CO2 emissions by 50 percent by 2050, Honda is working to minimize the environmental impact of its parts distribution operations through its “green fleet” programs.
The program is part of a strategy that has helped Honda reduce the CO2 emissions intensity of its parts shipments by 37 percent since 2009 and reduce waste sent to landfills from parts distribution centers by 99.3 percent.
Vice President for Parts and Operations for American Honda Motor Company Inc. Steve Bailey shared Honda’s theme, “Blue Skies for Our Children” and how developing the green fleet of tractor-trailers helped Honda reduce CO2 emissions by 37 percent.
“Honda is always seeking ways to reduce our environmental impact,” he said. “From designing fuel-efficient vehicles to designing energy-efficient factories, we try to consider the environmental impact in the entire product’s whole life cycle. In doing this, we enable future generations to enjoy the freedom of mobility within a sustainable society.”
The fully automated station is intended both to provide service to those that have already adopted the use of CNG, and to encourage and facilitate suppliers and logistics partners to adopt and expand its use in the trucks used in support of Honda operations.
Managing Director of Business Development for Trillium CNG David George explained how the CNG fueling station would be more efficient for tractor-trailers and the companies that rely on them.
“Tractor-trailers have time,” he said. “They’re only allowed in the cabbie 10 to 12 hours a day by federal guidelines. They can’t afford to sit around and wait and they can’t afford the cue to fill, so we pioneered the technology to have the most diesel-equivalent type fueling possible, and that satisfied a need.”
George said CNG is the cleanest energy source on a commercially viable national network basis.
“What that means is that the same line that comes in and heats your house, our hospitals, our schools, our businesses like Honda, we can tap right into that line, right at the station fueling moment, and by a series of compressing that natural gas under heavy pressure, we’re getting a cooler and dryer gas — natural gas is inherently wet — we can convert that into a liquid fuel when dispensed in a spark-ignited engine that Honda is pioneering,” he said.
The CNG station is located at the intersection of South Stanfield Road and Commerce Center Boulevard near Honda’s parts consolidation and distribution operations.
The station will feature two Class 8 dispensers for over-the-road carriers and can also serve customers who drive CNG-fueled passenger cars as well.