Photo of 2014 Civic Natural Gas courtesy of Honda.

Photo of 2014 Civic Natural Gas courtesy of Honda.

Honda has ceased production of its Civic Natural Gas sedan and will also discontinue sales of the Civic Hybrid and Accord Plug-In Hybrid due to the automaker's ability to "advance fuel economy through conventional engine technology," according to a statement.

Honda will discontinue these models after the 2015 model year. For the past 15 years, Honda has been the only manufacturer to produce a dedicated CNG passenger car.

"The infrastructure for natural gas refueling and consumer demand remains a challenge," said John Mendel, executive vice president of Honda's automobile division. "Production of the Civic Natural Gas model has been completed at our Indiana plant, but we will continue to provide a high level of service to our existing customers through CNG-certified Honda dealers."

The timing if the move comes as Honda prepares its 10th generation Civic, which will be redesigned for 2016 with the goal of achieving an EPA fuel economy rating of more than 40 mpg highway.

Honda had offered the dedicated compressed natural gas Civic since the 1998 model year. The vehicle had found some adoption among government fleets and AT&T, which ordered 225 sedans in 2013.

While Honda is also discontinuing its Accord Hybrid, the automaker said it would relaunch the Accord sedan as a battery-electric hybrid using its two-motor hybrid system. That vehicle is schedule to debut in early 2016.

Honda plans to introduce a new generation of advanced electrified vehicles in early 2016, along with its hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle. The new vehicles will include an "all-new battery electric model and the all-new plug-in hybrid model," Mendel said.

Honda also confirmed it will introduce a new Odyssey minivan for 2016. Commercial fleets added 2,278 Odyssey vans in 2013.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet