Toyota is advancing the idea of a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Camry hybrid by building one for auto show display. This will not be the first time the manufacturer has toyed with CNG in the Camry; it experimented with the idea in 1999.
“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, Toyota Motor Sales group vice-president from the Sustainable Mobility Seminar.
Honda is the only manufacturer currently selling a CNG vehicle to the mainstream public. Its Civic GX was awarded the “America’s Greenest Car” designation from American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Even with production expected to double for 2009 however, Honda will only be able to manufacture roughly 2,000 units next year.
Even in a time when gasoline alternatives are becoming more attractive, special refueling techniques and a limited infrastructure for natural gas poses a problem. Currently, many fueling stations are for private and fleet use only. The Department of Energy lists 778 CNG sites across the United States, while the Natural Gas Vehicles for America (NGVA) coalition cites more than 1,100.
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