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When most Americans think of green cars from Honda, the models that typically come to mind are the Insight and Civic Hybrids, or maybe the FCX Clarity. Few think of the natural gas-fueled Civic GX, probably because not many have ever heard of it. One group that has heard of the GX is the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) which has placed it at the top of a list the dozen greenest vehicles currently available for sale in the U.S. Again.

For the past decade, a Honda has always topped the list and at least three cars from the automaker have been on the list in each of the last nine years (check out the 2007 and 2008 lists). The Civic GX is only available in a handful of states, including California, Utah and New York. A compressed natural gas tank consumes most of the trunk space of the Civic sedan, but other than that, the car's performance is quite conventional. In the past, Honda has offered GX buyers the Phill home fueling appliance that allowed them to fuel up their cars in their own garage. The company that makes the Phill went bankrupt last year and the current status of availability is unknown.

[Source: Honda]


Honda Vehicle Earns #1 Ranking on ACEEE's "Greenest Vehicles of 2010" List for the Tenth Year in a Row

01/20/2010 - TORRANCE, Calif. -

Four Honda vehicles earned recognition from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) as among the "greenest vehicles of 2010" with the Civic GX natural gas car earning the title of American's greenest vehicle for the seventh consecutive year, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced today. In the annual ACEEE's "Green Book® Online" ranking of environmentally responsible vehicles (available at www.greenercars.org), the near-zero emissions natural gas-powered Civic GX ranked first with the Civic Hybrid, Insight and Fit joining the list on the ACEEE's 12 most environmentally responsible vehicles available to the public.

This is the tenth year in a row that a Honda vehicle received the number one ranking and the ninth consecutive year that Honda vehicles held at least three positions in the top 12. This year's list also marks the first appearance of the next-generation Insight in its first year on the market.

"Honda's rankings in the ACEEE study are emblematic of our commitment to lowering emissions and increasing fuel efficiency in all of our models," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda. "Honda continues to set the standard for socially and environmentally responsible vehicles with products like the Insight and Civic GX."

The ACEEE's ranking system uses a singular measure that incorporates fuel economy, health-related pollution impacts, and global warming emissions. All vehicles are analyzed and given a "Green Score" which is used to rank a vehicle's total environmental performance, including a list of the 12 "greenest" and 12 "meanest" vehicles. The Civic GX, first introduced in 1998 and currently built at Honda Manufacturing of Indiana*, is the cleanest internal combustion vehicle certified by the U.S. EPA**.

Honda has a long history of environmental innovation, including the introduction of America's first hybrid, the Honda Insight (1999), delivery of the first fuel cell vehicle in the U.S., the FCX (2002) and the first gasoline-powered vehicles in the hands of consumers to meet stricter emissions standards, including:

* The first gasoline Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV), the 1996 Honda Civic.
* The first gasoline Ultra-Low Emissions vehicle (ULEV), the 1998 Honda Accord.
* The first gasoline Super Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV), the 2000 Honda Accord.
* The first Advanced Technology Partial-Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV), the 2001 Civic GX natural gas vehicle.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing energy efficiency as a means of promoting both economic prosperity and environmental protection.

*Using domestically and globally sourced parts
**EPA Tier-2, Bin-2 and ILEV certification as of January 2010

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Civic GX costs more than the much more fuel efficient Civic hybrid.

      With the demise of Phill, there is no longer a realistic CNG refueler for the home.

      In most of the U.S. CNG refueling stations are for government or private fleet vehicles and are NOT open to the public.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They should sell this car with both tanks, gasoline and natural gas. That way it give unlimited possibilities. It's just the tank that is not the same, everything else is the same thing. It cost 200$ more to include the gasoline tank, LOL, so why not include it so with that car you gonna be able to drive everywhere contrary to the actual honda gx, where you have to find natural gas stations and if you drive far and you are in a hurry, then you might experience difficulty to find natural gas sellers on the spot.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, natural gas burns cleaner than gasoline, and it is less dominated by unfriendly foreign powers than petroleum (although OPEC and Russia are major NG sources).

        However, CNG, because it is compressed and thus under high pressure, is a serious leak and explosion hazard, and thus must be in stored in very strong, heavy steel tanks in simple bulky shapes like spheres or domed cylinders. This not only reduces passenger and/or cargo room, it also adds weight and thus reduces performance and requires more fuel consumption.

        Since NG must be compressed or liquefied, it is very expensive to transport over long distances. Thus, sadly, a lot of the NG found in the world, especially in remote areas or poor countries with bad infrastructure, is simply "flared" or burned off on-site, causing just as much environmental damage as if it were used, but with no benefit to humanity.

        Finally, bi-fuel vehicles such as those advocated by gorr exist, but they require separate fuel tanks for the gasoline and CNG. Furthermore if I recall correctly one must shut down the car and throw a switch to switch from tapping one fuel tank to the other.

        There's a better way to use NG (methane) for vehicle fuel: turn it into methanol. Unlike methane, methanol is a liquid at normal temperature and pressure. Thus it can be stored in a conventional automobile fuel tank, which is conveniently situated out of the way in the irregularly shaped gap between the car's inner and outer surfaces.

        Moreover, a fully flex-fueled car can use methanol and gasoline, or any mix of them, in the same fuel tank, automatically adjusting to any change in the mix. So a driver can fill up on methanol whenever he can, and gasoline whenever he must. That's a much more easy and user-friendly system than "bi fueled" gasoline-CNG cars, and the compatibility technology has existed since the 1990s in its current form and is cheap for automakers to build in to new cars (less than $200 per car). In fact the very first flex-fuel cars, better know now for ethanol compatibility, were methanol-gasoline cars in 1986.

        Methanol can not only be made from fossil fuels like natural gas and coal, but also renewably and much more near carbon-neutrally from any biomass without exception, including crop residues, organic waste, even sewage, without needing to wait for years and spend 9 figures of tax dollars on "cellulosic ethanol" research. Finally, methanol is consistently cheaper than gasoline, even on a per-mile basis, and would thus be very attractive to consumers, especially in poor countries, who don't mind filling up a little more often if they can pay less overall.

        That's why we should support the Open Fuel Standards Act being considered in Congress (S. 835 and H.R. 1476), which would make full flex fuel capability a required standard in most (80%) new gasoline cars sold in America within just a few years. It's truly non-partisan and non-ideological, with conservative Republicans and progressive Democrats in both houses on board. Contact the people who represent YOU at www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why is it that when I talk about methanol no one ever sees the initial M in the word, and everyone beats up on ethanol instead?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Most bi-fuelled vehicles can change fuel as they are moving, and ANG allows low pressure tanks to be used which can be any shape.



        Also biomethane has a much better energy balance than ethanol.

        "Ethanol produces less energy from a crop, than the energy in the biogas generated when the crop is digested. The ethanol production process uses up to 60% of the produced energy in the final ethanol product. It is shown for compressed biomethane generated from silage that the total parasitic demand of the process is of the order of 25%."

        • 5 Years Ago
        Most of the vehicles in Europe are dual, and I believe use LNG or LPG, although I do not have detailed knowledge of this small (in the UK) market segment.
        This seems a pretty clumsy solution though.
        The US should make more use of it's natural gas reserves, but I don't much like this clumsy solution.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They tried this in Arizona in 2000.

        AZ offered huge tax breaks and HOV-lane plates for CNG/gasoline powered vehicles.

        GM made a bunch of vehicles that ran on CNG as well as gasoline, but most of them were trucks.

        What we found was that nobody put CNG into their vehicles because it was too inconvenient. (Until gas hit $4.00 and CNG was cheaper)

        What we ended up with was a bunch of over-size pickup trucks and SUV's, running on gasoline and polluting the air, but driving in the HOV lanes....
        • 5 Years Ago
        Another option would be to add an attachment for an liquid propane canister in the trunk. They sell those tanks at many places and having the ability to run off a bbq tank would add a lot of flexibility and might be easier than gasoline/natural gas.
      • 5 Years Ago
      if all cars in the world were converted to CNG would that stop global warming? would it slow it? no
      so either they are incompetent or corrupt
      • 5 Years Ago
      I own a 2009 Honda Civic GX. It runs very well. There are no public filling stations in Omaha so I had a compressor installed in my garage. I'm paying about $0.75 per Gallon.

      Now, there is no doubt that the end-game for cars is 100% electric, and there is equally no doubt that we lack the battery technology and money to make all new cars 100% electric. We need better and less expensive batteries. In the mean time, there is NO better alternative that Natural Gas Vehicles (NGV). We have a high level of technological development. We have plenty of natural gas.

      We need to create incentives for plug-in electric, all-electric and NGV. Oil is the enemy and it funds the enemies of the West.
      • 5 Years Ago
      CNG is green until you look at the way it is extracted from the Earth.

      Look no further than the the fract'ing process that is proposed for use in the Marcellus shale deposits in Broome County New York.

      They want ot inject 2-4 million gallons of water laced with toxic chemicals over 1000-2000 wells. Do the math, 2 Billion gallons of toxic water intentionlly injected into the porous shale. In a county with hundreds of thousands of residents. The effects are well documented where this has been done else where in the US.

      No, Natural gas is NOT green, it poison to the earth and all life that needs clean water to live.