>Did you know that the Civic GX is now on sale at select Honda dealers in California and New York? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized the natural-gas Civic GX as the cleanest internal-combustion vehicle on Earth. Plus, the California Air Resources Board gave the GX an AT-PZEV emissions rating, which means it’s still the “Cleanest on Earth.” And right now, consumers in California and New York can buy the Civic GX to use as their everyday vehicle. With a modern, aerodynamic exterior, roomy cabin and ergonomic, supportive seats, the GX has everything you’d expect from a Civic. And because it uses compressed natural gas, the GX achieves remarkable fuel-cost savings, and helps decrease the world’s dependence on oil.
The Civic GX promises to lead the way to the advancement of fuel-cell vehicles, sooner than you might expect. Civic GX owners can purchase their own home-refueling appliance called Phill, which installs easily to a home gas line. With Phill, GX owners fill up when they come home, instead of having to go to a gas station.
The Civic GX has a 1.7-liter, 4-cylinder engine and starts at $21,670. Buyers can take advantage of a $2,000 federal tax deduction for alternative fuel vehicles
September 25, 2008
DETROIT —Mario Pirraglia, Associated Press, reports on a Canadian company that makes a refueling machine for a new Honda natural gas vehicle and that it plans to make the machine available to drivers in the Salt Lake market.
Of course, local folks would have to drive to California to pick up the new natural gas car from Honda Motor Co., which says its offering it as an industry first.
Honda said Thursday it has been offering its Honda Civic GX sedan to fleet operators for seven years and estimates there are 7,000 of the natural gas-powered vehicles on the road. But this will be the first time consumers can buy the vehicle in a dealership and lease a refueling machine to go along with it.
“Driving a natural gas vehicle has never been so convenient,” said Gunnar Lindstrom, Honda’s manager of alternative fuel vehicle sales.
Honda said it expects to sell about 300 of the vehicles this year through 17
dealerships in northern and Southern California. Toronto-based FuelMaker Corp., which makes the refueling machine, also will make the machine available to consumers in Arizona, Salt Lake City, Dallas and Milwaukee, although the Civic GX won’t be on sale in those cities.
Honda said the Civic GX can go up to 220 miles without refueling and costs about 3.75 cents per mile to fuel. A conventional, gasoline-powered Civic can go approximately 350 miles without refueling and costs 8.8 cents per mile to fuel.
The Civic GX has some of the lowest emissions of any vehicle on the road, Honda said. On average, a car with a natural gas-powered internal-combustion engine emits 87 percent less nitrogen oxide, 70 percent less carbon monoxide and 25 percent less carbon dioxide than a car with an engine that uses gasoline, according to Honda.
The refueling machine uses a home’s existing natural gas lines and can be installed for $500 to $1,500. Dealers will lease it for between $34 and $79 a month, Honda said. The lower leasing price factors in possible clean-vehicle incentives from state and local governments, Honda said.
There are a few downsides. If the vehicle runs out of natural gas on the road, it would have to be towed to the owner’s home or one of the 100 California gas stations that now have natural gas refueling tanks. The refueling machine also takes eight hours to fuel the vehicle, which means consumers most likely would have to fill it overnight.
“The car is clearly not your primary car. It’s your commuter car, your secondary car,” Lindstrom said.
FuelMaker said the machine is registered as a household appliance and is no more dangerous than any other appliances that use natural gas. Toyota Motor Co. spokeswoman Cindy Knight said Honda’s offer likely is a first. Toyota offers no similar vehicle or home refueling option, Knight said.