While drivers of gasoline-powered cars are cringing every time they fill up, owners of Honda's Civic GX, a natural gas powered vehicle, are paying 35% - 50% less at the pump. With gas hitting $3 a gallon across California, natural gas, currently priced between $1.80 to $2.00 per gas gallon equivalent, is a clean-burning alternative fuel that is available at re-fueling stations throughout the state. Additionally, the availability of a new home refueling appliance, named Phill, now gives GX owners the opportunity to say goodbye forever to gas stations while further increasing their savings.
Honda is the only automaker currently retailing an all natural gas-powered passenger car in the U.S. market. Though Honda has marketed the Civic GX to fleet operators with their own fueling stations, the company believes there is a growing public demand for lower-cost, ultra-clean and convenient alternatives to gasoline-powered transportation. Honda has begun offering GX to its customers at select dealers.
California, home to 50% of all natural gas vehicles (NGVs) nationwide, has a substantial natural gas refueling infrastructure, with over 135 public fueling stations in its major metropolitan areas. This infrastructure continues to expand with new stations being planned and built. NGV owners can check on line to find stations, for instance, on a support site offering an interactive map of the state.
Although the MSRP for GX is higher than a similar gasoline-powered Civic, the Federal government currently offers a $2,000 tax deduction on the purchase of a new alternative fuel vehicle, and more incentives are planned. Another key incentive is that Honda's GX qualifies for California's High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane access for solo commuters. Local incentives and rebates may also be available to some consumers.
Recent concerns about America's energy independence have focused attention on the abundant supplies of domestically produced natural gas. Most Californians already have natural gas supplied to their residences. GX owners have the option of using their home natural gas supply line to fuel their cars overnight using Phill, a pay-phone sized that can be mounted on a garage wall or outdoors. Phill can be leased or purchased, and is installed by technicians from FuelMaker, the appliance's manufacturer. It offers simple "start" and "stop" buttons and will automatically turn itself off when the tank is full. Civic GX buyers can lease Phill through Honda dealers for approximately $34 to $79 per month (plus installation) depending on regional incentive programs.
The Civic GX sedan seats four passengers and has a driving range of between 200 and 220 miles. It shares the same platform with the Civic LX sedan and offers a similar array of safety and convenience features. The Civic Sedan has earned a 5-star frontal impact crash rating from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has labeled the U.S.-made Honda Civic GX as "the cleanest internal combustion engine-powered vehicle ever tested." The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently named the Civic GX as the "Greenest Vehicle of the Year" in overall environmental performance, ahead of even hybrid vehicles.
Natural gas powered vehicles are part of Honda's strategy to offer the best available technology for the reduction of air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and petroleum dependence.
Natural gas, an abundant North American resource, is among the best alternatives for displacing petroleum on a near-term basis. Longer-term, the Civic GX and Phill can help to bridge the gap between gasoline and even cleaner, more efficient energy alternatives such as hydrogen-powered fuel cells.
Honda's extensive history of environmental leadership includes recognition as the "Greenest Automaker" by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) in its 2005 ranking of corporate environmental performance with the lowest average emission levels and highest average fuel economy.
For more information or downloadable high-resolution images of the Civic GX and other Honda vehicles, please visit www.hondanews.com. Consumer information is available at www.hondacars.com. Additional resources for items mentioned in this release include www.cngvc.org, www.fuelmaker.com, www.epa.gov and www.aceee.org.