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POLL: Does the Fuelmaker/Honda deal make you leave CNG for good?

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  • POLL: Does the Fuelmaker/Honda deal make you leave CNG for good?

    Okay, I know this topic is on everybody minds. Does that fact that Honda shut Fuelmaker down (the only company making home refueling appliances) make you want to leave CNG for good? Are you going to sell your CNG vehicle because Fuelmaker is now out of business?

    For me, the answer is no. I have been contemplating on purchasing a Fuelmaker FMQ-2-36 for some time, but hadn't made the plunge. I guess I will have to wait for something else to come along.
    49
    Yes, I am selling everything and not coming back
    2.04%
    1
    Yes, I am selling everything, but I will come back if someone else makes VRAs
    2.04%
    1
    No, I am staying with CNG
    95.92%
    47
    Jared.
    Mountain Green, Utah
    2003 CNG Cavalier
    2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

  • #2
    Re: POLL: Does the Fuelmaker/Honda deal make you leave CNG for good?

    Keeping my CNG.. I put some shiny nickels into that car and I expect long usage regardless of the PHIL..
    I got a 7 year warranty and I don't mind filling at the PGE.
    Silver 09 GX
    Phill G:1.5

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    • #3
      Re: POLL: Does the Fuelmaker/Honda deal make you leave CNG for good?

      Have been at it for over 11 years, why stop now. Although in the eleven plus years im still waiting to see growth. John

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      • #4
        Re: POLL: Does the Fuelmaker/Honda deal make you leave CNG for good?

        I'm sticking, but it is disappointing. I always felt a fuelmaker was a good back up plan for if UT prices got too high. For now, the state pumps have great pressure and I'm sure another unit will come to market in the future so I'm not going anywhere.

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        • #5
          Re: POLL: Does the Fuelmaker/Honda deal make you leave CNG for good?

          I got my '09 GX this past September and have almost 20,000 miles on it already. I'm not giving up my clear air access to the car pool lane!

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          • #6
            Re: POLL: Does the Fuelmaker/Honda deal make you leave CNG for good?

            Never thought I would say this - Not enough poll choices...


            Jury is out. Waiting for smoke to clear. Currently, I don't use a FuelMaker anyway and have plenty of stations in my commuting area. So, I won't be selling.

            But, my car is 7 years old. The real question will be what happens to the movement in general. And, when I go to replace it, since I am thhinking of retireing outside of CA at some point what will the infrasturcture look like.

            I guess in other words, I wonder what the overall affect is to the NGV movement.

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            • #7
              Re: POLL: Does the Fuelmaker/Honda deal make you leave CNG for good?

              Dropping cng because of the Fuelmaker incident is like swearing off women because one jilted you... rediculous. Show me someone that says yes to this and I'll show you a short sighted man.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: POLL: Does the Fuelmaker/Honda deal make you leave CNG for good?

                For many people a VRA is the only option. It was one of my first on my"TO-DO" list after I bought my first GX. After finding out that fueling locally was very convienient and reliable, and reading/figuring the economics of a Phill unit. I decided to wait on a VRA. If a better and more economical unit can be developed, I would be interested (RE Curtis post on IANGV thread post). I would prefer to have the unit in my garage VS outside, but would still consider an external installation, as I have my gas line and meter in a perfect location next to my garage. All I would need is a 40 feet run of 240v or 10 feet of 110/15amp. Someone mentioned China in one of the FM demise posts. VRAs could probably be made there cheap, but that may be a scary thought!
                The bottom line is something has to happen with FM, they cannot just go away and die, there is too much valuable technology there that can be used to make a better product. I also want to hear more about those C3 machines that are supposedly obsolete.
                BLUE 09 GX

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                • #9
                  Re: POLL: Does the Fuelmaker/Honda deal make you leave CNG for good?

                  it makes no diferance to me as I have aways thought fm was junk and have never spent my hard earned cash on one but I think this is a great chance for some one to build a better mouse trap hopfully with oil so it wont need overhaulling all the time

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                  • #10
                    Re: POLL: Does the Fuelmaker/Honda deal make you leave CNG for good?

                    For all of you that have commercial refueling points that is fine. I DO NOT HAVE THAT OPTION!!!!!!!! That is why I think this whole deal just stinks.
                    I love my 09 GX, but I will not support this practice. Do I think CNG is the way to go? YES. Do I think that the FuelMaker unit is an above average design, not even. They started using purpose built components that should have been as purchased off the shelf for some things. Reliability often suffers. The reason, to shrink the footprint. Throw the PHILL in the middle and you have a massive drain on profits. It is a niche market at best, but it sure beats being on the oil nipple to the tune of $14,000 a year for me. Thats about 1/8 of my salary gone to the oil gods. My gas bill for the last 2 months has run $150 to $180 for 27 days of driving. My car has 8,000 miles in 2.5 months. My 1983 Mazda truck has 650,000 on it. Oil changes every 9,000 miles to 3500 miles. Do the math on my oil expenses alone at 5qts per, 40 to 55,000mi/yr.

                    I have been looking and talking to a few manufacturers in China via e-mail. Units are a little basic and will not meet UL specs. One appears to be headed that way but is about the same as the FMQ 2 in output. It currently holds a CE cert. I want about 2-3 gal/hour and they are working on that now.

                    There are a couple of other technologies working in parallel right now but they are waiting to see if this pans out or the whole thing just ends up in the garbage can. I am currently looking at a Mako pump and finding a used fueling point. I have to decide how much more I am willing to invest, and whether or not I want to maintain ANY kind of relationship with Honda. They best get going and quit talking. Honda really just hosed this up good. In order to foster new technology everyone needs to be on the same page.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: POLL: Does the Fuelmaker/Honda deal make you leave CNG for good?

                      I am also one that must rely on my own source of gas compression to fuel my vehicles. I have relied on the FuelMaker (FM2Q-36 and FM4) to meet my needs. I never felt the "Phill" was ready for prime time with it's extremely slow actual fueling rate. I also looked at upgrading to a larger (Bauer) compressor but until recently, the gas company didn't have the capacity on the lines near my location to provide the pressure and flow needed for even the smaller Bauer compressors. And-----if you think a Fuelmaker is expensive . The day after I heard of Fuelmaker going into receivership, I located and purchased a new FM2Q-36 for a backup. There just isn't any other good option for me at this time. I know everyone is badmouthing Honda but none of us know the full story yet. They did put a lot of money into Fuelmaker to get the Phill into production and I don't think it ended up being what Honda really wanted as far as price point was concerned. From what I understand Honda owned a minority interest in Fuelmaker but part of that was a 24 million dollar note that Honda decided to call---putting them into receivership. Honda has built CNG vehicles for eleven model years now and it doesn't appear Honda is abandoning the GX (unlike CNG offerings from other manufacturers) so I won't abandon Honda unless something really underhanded comes out into the open on this matter .

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                      • #12
                        Re: POLL: Does the Fuelmaker/Honda deal make you leave CNG for good?

                        I don't see myself giving up CNG, EVER! I'm infuriated each time I fill my gasoline vehicle; US dollars sent to terrorists and their supporters! The Phill was never a necessity for me because there are plenty of PG & E or CE stations in my path to/from work. Phill would be convenient but, there was just too much downside - start-up costs, maintenance, life-expectancy, NOISE, electricity costs, slow fill cycles, and more. If these problems can be resolved I would enjoy the convenience.

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                        • #13
                          Re: POLL: Does the Fuelmaker/Honda deal make you leave CNG for good?

                          I live in Southern California. So I have a variety of commercial and utility dispensers. Here's the good news. Between LA and San Diego, there are 15-20 million people. When gas goes back up, the market will pick up for cng vehicles.

                          When I got my GX, I considered a Phill, but it never made economic sense. I think we have to admit that home refuling devices are part of NG's geeky-techno-nerdy past. And I will admit to being a geeky-techno-nerd.

                          Yeah, we could have barrels of gasoline in our garages as well, but the fact that gasoline is available at your local gas station makes it pretty unlikely that we buy a $5000 pump to do that. (Yes, I know that I get NG delivered to my house for my range and grill, but Fuelmaker failed because this is technically and administratively harder than it looks.)

                          There is one more alternative, though. I've always thought that there might be some cost effective way to deliver NG to users. I initially looked at this as a way to deliver to single customers, but I quickly discovered that it was just to expensive. However, it might be economically feasible to deliver to fleets. In fact, a fleet delivery service might be able to hedge the cost of NG so that the fleet could buy 1000 or 10,000 GGE or 100,000 GGE at a fixed price. That way you could sell a fleet of GXs or Impala conversions with fixed fuel price for a year or more.

                          You might be able to work around some of the transportation regs by having the vehicle run on the same NG it dispenses. I don't have the technical or compliance answers for this, but some sort of delivery system certainly makes more economic sense that everyone having their own $5,000 or $10,000 appliance.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: POLL: Does the Fuelmaker/Honda deal make you leave CNG for good?

                            If I were just thinking about buying my first CNG car, the Fuelmaker/Honda deal would have kept me from getting a GX.

                            However, I purchased my GX 30 months ago and my Phill 24 months ago. I'm in now, and getting out doesn't yet make sense, particularly since we really doen't know the outcome of what level of service the new company will provide, if any.

                            It just so happened that the exhaust fan went out on my Phill last week. Assuming I can get that fixed (and I am hopeful that I can, even though Fuelmaker is not open for business right now), and assuming that I don't have any further issues with my Phill, I really do like having it. The convenience is great. Also, although there was a substantial up-front cost, it feels nice having the option of not using a Clean Energy station when their prices are too high for me.

                            When I bought my GX, my thinking was that this will either be the worst vehicle decision that I have ever made, or it will be the best vehicle decision that I have ever made. When gasoline was at $4.00 per gallon and diesel fuel was at $5.00 per gallon last summer, the GX and Phill looked like a great decision. When Fuelmaker went into recievership and my Phill died shortly thereafter, I was less sure that this was a great decision.

                            Fortunately there are several public refueling stations near me. For now, I'll just use the public refueling stations, work on fixing my Phill, hope that it runs well after it's fixed, and wait to see what happens with the sale of Fuelmaker.

                            Sincerely,
                            Michael

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                            • #15
                              Re: POLL: Does the Fuelmaker/Honda deal make you leave CNG for good?

                              Going on 30 years driving and working on my own CNG vehicles; a lot has changed over that time from simply converting naturally aspirated engines to the new multi-fuel injectors, but the basic technology remains the same. I'll build my own VRA if I have to, but I'm sticking to CNG, because it's the right thing to do.
                              2009 GX
                              2000 K2500
                              2002 Cavalier
                              1998 Contour
                              Phill powered by solar power

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