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Economics of PHILL

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  • Economics of PHILL

    Hopefully someone can straighten me out on the economics of the Phill unit.

    FuelMaker informed me that the price of a new Phill with shipping and installation is roughly $6000, less $1000 for the Federal tax credit.

    The Phill pump is good for 6000 hours of operation before a rebuild is needed. The 6000 hours of operation times the flow rate of 0.42 GGE per hour equals approximately 2520 GGE. Dividing the net Phill cost of $5000 by 2520 GGE equals $1.98 per GGE PLUS the cost of natural gas and electricity to run the Phill. It seems to me that in most cases one would be better off cost wise to fill up at commercial CNG fueling stations rather than purchase a Phill.

    What am I missing here?

    Thanks for your help.

    Dick
    Las Vegas, NV

  • #2
    Re: Economics of PHILL

    The 'rebuild' cost of Phill is not $5000. Others who have gone through this can phill in the blank -- I would guess it's more like $2500. Still, you have to put significant value on the convenience factor for Phill to make sense.

    The FM series makes more economic sense -- approx. $1200 rebuild cost for up to 4000 GGE, and is much faster than Phill at about 1 GGE/hr, but is more expensive initially.

    PS Phill fill rate is less than .42GGE/hr. Perhaps closer to .3
    02 GX
    01 GX
    03 Crown Vic
    06 GX
    Home Fueler

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    • #3
      Re: Economics of PHILL

      Ilooks like you have the math about right. The last pricing sheet I got from Fuelmaker put the unit at about $4300 at the upper end. There are several variations on the theme which have associated price variations, ie indoors, vrs outside, nozzle selection, etc.

      Looks like they may calculating in inflated installation charges if they are quoting $6000 up front. Some area's have incentives to lower the cost of a purchase or lease. I'm unaware of any in there in Nv.
      [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_4586_1441434431016_578[/ATTACH]

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      • #4
        Re: Economics of PHILL

        Here is why I passed on Phill
        http://www.cngchat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23

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        • #5
          Re: Economics of PHILL

          Phill will work if you-
          A. will only have one NGV for commuting
          B. have a strict homeowners association or do not have the property outside
          to place a Vehicle Refueling Appliance and have to fuel indoors.

          Otherwise go for the larger unit, a lot more efficient in the long run & easier to service.

          For high mileage vehicles, or multiple vehicle families or businesses, go for
          the FMQ2-36, costs a little more money, but actually less in the long run.
          There is no limit on how many times the FMQ2-36 or other VRA's can be
          rebuilt. Makes for a lot better investment. And fills twice as fast as Phill!

          Phill is a great tool in the right circumstances.
          Last edited by cngaz; 05-07-2008, 09:59 AM.
          Dave Clement

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          • #6
            Re: Economics of PHILL

            Originally posted by cngaz View Post
            Phill will work if you-
            A. will only have one NGV for commuting
            B. have a strict homeowners association or do not have the property outside
            to place a Vehicle Refueling Appliance and have to fuel indoors.

            wrong, phill needs to vent to the outside, so you need HOA approval.

            i'm giving up. i would not do it again. wait for an comuter beast like aptera...

            i installed without approval from my HOA, now the city wants to see the approval from HOA for the building permit. god knows why, ut now i'm stuck with the higher gas rate (over baseline) and $5k down the drain...aehm phill... once his phil dies i will not replace it, not worth it. if my HOA and city does not want to be earth-friendly... i'm stuck. <rant over>

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            • #7
              Re: Economics of PHILL

              No one said you did not need home owners assoc approval.
              It is easier to get approval from an HOA since the unit is inside and you only
              have the exhaust vent and pressure relief line showing.
              The other piping if showing is usually around existing pipes.
              It does have the appliance rating, so it is in the same class as your stove and water heater.
              Once everything is installed, paint it to match the house and it should not be too out of sorts with the rest of your house.
              But only you know how it is to deal with your HOA.
              I would not have spent the money until I had cleared it with them first.
              City officials usually require a letter from the HOA saying its OK.
              The HOA's sometimes get kind of resistant if they think someone was trying to go around them.
              I have not had a HOA here in Arizona stop any installation, sometimes we have to tweak the installation a little, but have not had any refusals so far.
              You are going to have to go before your HOA and explain to them how you are going to make it as invisible to the community as possible,
              Paint, nothing more than a drier vent added and a small vent pipe etc. And ask them what you can do to make it less obtrusive in their opinion. Explain the plus's to what you are doing and you may have some neighbors joining you on the NGV highway.
              Last edited by cngaz; 05-14-2008, 04:33 PM.
              Dave Clement

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              • #8
                Re: Economics of PHILL

                [QUOTE=cngaz;6493]
                I would not have spent the money until I had cleared it with them first.
                QUOTE]


                unfortunatly it is no-where to be seen that there needs to be outside venting. untill the installer shows up.
                call me dumb, but i thought an inside install, means that. inside. it is not easy to find the venting info on the phill website (unless you read the install manual, but why would you do that since phill forces you to have a "certified" installer do the work), it wasn't mentioned on this website before i did bring it up first. both installers qouting me did not tell me about it. and when it came up i was lied to again and was told the venting could be hidden inside a panel.

                if you say it is common for the city to ask for HOA approval, the installer or phil should have told me about it too. i would have gotten the approval first before installing anything.

                but even that was kinda late since i bought the car before i knew about any outside venting. and i was stuck with fueling up my car everyday at a public station wich alwasy added 10-20 mins to my day.

                so call me stupid for not doing my research. or call phill and the installers smart for not telling me about the outside venting untill after the unit was shipped...

                i'm frustated because with my higher gas bill my break even point will be after my phill will die and i will not take a chance and try to get approval now from my HOA and them telling me i have to uninstall my vent.

                but i have a plan. once my phill dies my girl will drive it. needing to fill up maybeoncea week at a public station and i will have an aptera by then. 120 miles to the gallon.

                be carefull before you get a NGV and/or a phill. it's a major headache. do your research. and when you think you've done all your research do more research. and don't trust anyone who want's money from you, because they will make it look better and easier than it is.

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                • #9
                  Re: Economics of PHILL

                  I really don't understand your vent issue. If installed correctly, as cngaz said, it should look just like a dryer or bathroom vent just a little larger. Per chance is there a large square flange around your vent? If so then the installer did not recess the flange and that will look bad. Please post picture of the vent both up close and from the street.

                  Maybe just changing to a different cap might help. Here are some that look really nice and they're in Pasadena, CA. I think this one is your best bet.

                  You can also look at moving the vent to a location where is does not show. I ask Fuelmaker about this once and they said the vent can run a long distance as long as you use a larger vent pipe up to the vent cap. If you do that there is a very good chance that you can vent it somewhere it won't be seen.

                  Is the garage have a single story roof? If so you could use a roof vent cap. Those will hardly show plus there are most likely some already up there.

                  I know that HOA's can be a PIA but this should not be something that should shut you down over. I think their just ticked off because you didn't come to them first.
                  John

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                  • #10
                    Re: Economics of PHILL

                    Originally posted by Timon View Post
                    I know that HOA's can be a PIA but this should not be something that should shut you down over. I think their just ticked off because you didn't come to them first.
                    at this point they don't know about it. so is it worth while taking a chance and get shut down and/or fined ? is it worthwhile the savings (of the cng rate) to risk this ? i will post pics later but only close ups. i don't want someone to tell on me.
                    no you can't see it from the driveway or street. it's well blended and hidden

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                    • #11
                      Re: Economics of PHILL

                      Originally posted by flmgrip View Post
                      at this point they don't know about it. so is it worth while taking a chance and get shut down and/or fined ? is it worthwhile the savings (of the cng rate) to risk this ? i will post pics later but only close ups. i don't want someone to tell on me.
                      no you can't see it from the driveway or street. it's well blended and hidden
                      Do you have any neighbors that live in the same HOA that are friends of yours? If one of them was to ask the association for approval to install a Phill with the same outside venting as yours, you could get an idea of the HOA reaction and then act (or not) accordingly.

                      Adrian
                      Adrian

                      Navy 2008 Civic GX (wife's)
                      Silver 2012 Toyota Prius
                      Grey 2012 Civic Natural Gas (mine)

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                      • #12
                        Re: Economics of PHILL

                        I think people dont understand that Fuelmaker is a company in buisness to make money like any other company, and their main focus is selling to corporations with fleet vehicles. Corporations generally buy equipment that is way over priced and are ok with that.

                        I bought my FMQ2 for $4500 in 1997 and had to beg the company I bought it from to not only sell me the Fuelmaker but to also convert my 1994 Dodge PU to run on CNG.

                        Im sure we all realize that CNG will never take off and will always be for the rich and famous. I surely know that I could not afford a Fuelmaker nowadays and it just is not feasible to do so unless you had the 8 plus years to wait for it to start being profitable to you. You know the saying if its to good to be true then it probably is.

                        Now buying a Honda GX without a Fuelmaker, realizes savings right away. You just need to live close to a public fueling station for it to be a savings and be able to live with the stress that the station will be operational when really needed.

                        John

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                        • #13
                          Re: Economics of PHILL

                          If I read your location correctly your also in vegas where I am and clean energy has gone a price binge lately .30 cents gge increase in the past 3 weeks so I am strongly thinking of buying one and installing one my self only I am tired of clean energy raping my fixed retirement income.

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