Honda donates CNG vehicle to BPPT for research
Japanese car maker PT Honda Prospect Motors (HPM) donated a compressed natural gas (CNG) version of its Honda City compact sedan to the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) on Monday, to help the agency’s research on alternative fuel.
BPPT head Unggul Priyanto said the donation would help the institute’s research on alternative fuel, which he felt was a necessity in meeting ever-growing demand for energy in Indonesia, and also not allowing the country to be forever dependent on imported fuel.
“[Fossil Fuel] remains the easiest source of energy to be accessed by Indonesians and as a result, our fuel consumption is still very high. The [car] donated by Honda will help our research on developing alternative options to fuel,” Unggul said at the donation ceremony at a BPPT lab in Serpong, South Tangerang, on Monday.
Meanwhile, Research and Technology and Higher Education Minister Muhammad Nasir said the government supported the research, particularly on the potential of compressed gas as a mainstream fuel source.
“I am targeting that by 2016 or 2017, CNG cars should have already hit the road,” Nasir told reporters on Monday.
Nasir added that the company was also willing to donate more alternative fuel vehicles, such as hybrid or possibly electric cars, for the purpose of research. He said that Japanese carmakers planned to donate around 40 cars this year.
Earlier in 2006, PT HPM donated a Honda Civic Hybrid to the BPPT.
The company said the plan to develop CNG cars, which are made in Thailand, was the initiative of both the company and the Indonesian government, and could be applied if the government thought the time was right.
The Honda City CNG was designed to run interchangeably on both gasoline and CNG, with the car essentially having two fuel tanks.
The 42-liter CNG tank is located inside the trunk of the car and is designed to withstand heat through its various safety devices such as a shut-off valve, temperature sensors and pressure outlet.
As an additional safety precaution, the usually odorless CNG has been given a smell to help the driver detect leakages.
The company notes that CNG development is suitable in Indonesia due to the abundance of the resource.
“We hope that researching the Honda City CNG will bring large benefits and create solutions regarding alternative fuels for a better environment,” PT HPM president director Tomoki Uchida said.
PT HPM marketing and after sales manager Jonfis Fandy said the Honda City CNG was unveiled in Thailand in 2012, however, there was no plan yet to sell it in Indonesia.