The few who choose to drive natural gas cars like the Honda Civic NG have something to look forward to in 2015: home fueling stations that won’t cost an arm an a leg.
Normally, a station like that would cost somewhere in the $5,000 to $10,000 range, but industrial manufacturer Eaton plans to offer lower-cost units for private use by 2015. Those stations will only cost $500 and will allow drivers to refuel their cars privately, making it easier to take advantage of the country’s abundant natural gas supply.
As a fuel, it’s becoming very attractive after producers developed technology to harvest from shale rock formations. Currently, the cost to buy natural gas is equal to about $2.09 a gallon.
Natural gas vehicles still aren’t common across the U.S, yet because relatively few stations offer the alternative. Trucking companies and other long-distance fleets are realizing the savings potential, though, which is pushing demand up and prompting more pumps to crop up.
With those two factors in place, the necessary forces might be at work to spur private demand. Honda offered a home fueling device called Phill that could refuel its Civic NG overnight, but it didn’t recommend using it.