• Apr 28th 2010 at 1:02PM
  • 20
The only factory-built natural gas-fueled car currently offered in the United States is now a little bit more available. Cheap natural gas costs and state incentives have led Honda to start offering the Civic GX to retail customers in Oklahoma. Previously, the car had only been available in California, New York and Utah.

The Civic GX has a compressed natural gas tank mounted behind the rear seat taking up much of the trunk space. Unlike some other natural gas vehicles that converted by third parties, Honda builds the GX at its Greensburg Indiana plant alongside conventional Civics.

Unfortunately, it appears that the Phill natural gas refueling appliance is no longer available after its manufacturer Fuelmaker went bankrupt last year. The Phill could be mounted on the garage wall and could fill the Civic's tank from a home natural gas supply.

[Source: Honda]

PRESS RELEASE

Oklahoma to Become Fourth Retail Market for Honda's Natural Gas-Powered Civic GX
Dealer network expands for retail sales of nation's only natural gas-powered vehicle sold by an OEM

TORRANCE, Calif. -

American Honda Motor Co., Inc., today announced that dealers in Oklahoma will now have the option of selling the compressed natural gas (CNG) powered Honda Civic GX to customers on a retail basis. There are 13 Honda dealers in Oklahoma, three of which are already selling the Civic GX as a fleet vehicle.

"Expanding Honda's Civic GX retail program along with the continued success of fleet sales expresses our commitment to the environment and natural gas vehicle technology," said Elmer Hardy, senior manager of Alternative Fuel Vehicle Sales & Marketing. "Honda seeks market opportunities for the Civic GX where strong natural gas refueling infrastructure exists, and we continue to see its promise as a clean, sustainable, domestically-sourced alternative fuel."

Honda is the only OEM currently selling a CNG-powered vehicle on a retail basis in the United States. Additionally, the Civic GX is the only OEM-built, CNG-powered passenger car assembled in America. The Civic GX is built on the same assembly line as the gasoline-powered Civic 4-door models at Honda's Greensburg, Indiana manufacturing facility.

In 2006, the Civic GX became available for the first time to retail customers in California. Since then, retail sales have expanded to New York, Utah and now, Oklahoma. Currently, 43 dealers in California, 19 in New York and eight in Utah have added Retail Sales Addendums to their Honda Sales Agreements that enable them to sell the Civic GX on a retail basis. When including dealerships that sell fleet vehicles, there are a total of 134 Civic GX dealers in 33 states.

Oklahoma is an ideal market to expand retail sales of the Civic GX with its low refueling costs, a generous state tax incentive toward the purchase of a new Civic GX and solid fleet sales. As the second largest natural gas producing state in the U.S., Oklahoma already has a strong existing CNG station infrastructure with robust plans to expand the network over the next several years.

The 2010 Civic GX achieves an EPA-estimated city/highway fuel economy of 24/36** miles per gasoline-gallon equivalent and is the only vehicle certified by the EPA to meet both Federal Tier 2-Bin 2 and Inherently Low Emission Vehicle (ILEV) zero evaporative emission certification standards. Additionally, the Honda Civic GX is the cleanest internal combustion vehicle ever tested by the EPA, and for the seventh straight year, the Civic GX NGV was named "Greenest Vehicle" by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

For more information or downloadable high-resolution images of Honda vehicles, please visit www.hondanews.com. Consumer information is available at www.honda.com.

* EPA Tier-2, Bin-2 and ILEV certification as of May 2009
**Based on 2010 EPA mileage estimates, reflecting new EPA fuel economy methods beginning with 2008 models. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      "The Civic GX has a compressed natural gas tank mounted behind the rear seat taking up much of the trunk space."

      Exactly. Whereas methanol, which is most easily and cheaply made from NG, is a liquid at normal temperature and pressure, and can be poured into a normal, irregularly shaped fuel tank, like the ones normal gasoline cars use. Fully flex fueled cars can use methanol and gasoline, in any mix with each other or none at all. And ethanol too.

      So --- be limited to the handful of natural gas stations, plus have no trunk space...

      Or get your trunk back, and able to use any alcohol fuel wherever you can find it, or gasoline if you can't.

      It's a no-brainer. So why on earth are CNG or LNG cars even discussed, let alone built? We need to focus alt-fuel efforts on alcohol.
        • 5 Years Ago
        But only on alcohol made from waste. Cellulosic...sure, knock your socks off. But fuel made from food is lunacy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Michael Walsh, there is no world food shortage. US and EU farmers are so hyper-efficient they flood the world with a cornucopia and dump their excess produce at below-market prices. And this is done while over half of US farmland is uncultivated, and while rural areas are losing population, especially young people. Even while ethanol corn production has risen several fold, the quantity of food corn, soybeans, and other staple crops has risen as well. In fact our government pays farmers not to farm to prevent even more food from flooding the world, crashing the price, and bankrupting even more family farmers here and Third World farmers there. There's tremendous slack, unused capacity in the form of both manpower and cropland in the ag sector that would permit a huge expansion of biofuel production without threatening the already world food supply.

        And this is true not just of the advanced sector countries but the poor tropics as well - if we switched to biofuels there would be such a demand for produce that our farmers would finally have all the business they can handle with lots left over for the Third World farmers. So we could finally drop our tariffs that wall out tropical produce, enabling the world poor to abandon subsistence farming, farm cash crops with modern high-yield efficient techniques (since there would at last be a market for them that would justify the expense), earn hard currency, and enter modernity. We spent $600 billion on foreign oil in 2008; if that were spent on biofuel and half of that were from overseas it would dwarf by several times over the total combined charity and foreign aid budget of the entire world (UN, USA, EU, Catholic Church, Oxfam, etc) - an enormous driver of development. Diverting money from Saudi princes to African farmers, that's how you beat hunger.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Any fuel that competes with gasoline is fine in my book. We need to diversify the fuel options for vehicles in this country so American's have fuel choice. This is a step in the right direction.
      • 5 Years Ago
      There really should be a big qualifier on the article and its that Honda only makes a token amount of these vehicles (way below demand, not that there is alot of demand). If memory serves the production target for 2010 was 1,500 and nearly all were spoken for before the year began.

      So great Honda, glad you opened it up to another state (should be in all states), now make enough so people or companies can buy them.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The loss of the home Phil is an issue but when I looked into people assured me that the commercial "philling" machines, while more expensive, were actually greatly preferred by CNG drivers because they compressed to a higher density (and thus gave the car more range). The range would be an issue but the liberation of fueling at home is a plus.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The "generous state tax incentive toward the purchase of a new Civic GX" is probably the biggest reason they chose Oklahoma. I wrote a blog post on Oklahoma's tax credit on the purchase of a Brammo Enertia. So far, the state leads in my informal contest of SIWIBABE (States in which I'd buy a Brammo Enertia). The $7995 Enertia would end up costing just north of $4,000. Here's the link: http://brammofan.wordpress.com/2010/04/05/oklahoma-time-to-buy-a-brammo-enertia/
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's a fossil fuel - not sustainable, not impressed.
      • 5 Years Ago
      More expensive than the hybrid Civic for less mpg (equivalent)

      No widespread refueling infrastructure (CNG stations are usually NOT open to the public)

      No thanks.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've read many reviews of the car.. it's okay. Limited range, lesser power ( the Civic isn't a speed demon to begin with ) and fueling options make it more difficult to live with than a 100 mile range electric car.

      No longer having the 'Phil' option actually hurts the appeal of the car quite a bit too. It seems that fueling the car would be a pain in the ass. It may be cool if you live next to a fleet fueling station, but..

      I think Honda should bust their ass making a better hybrid system & work on getting an EV car to market.. but that makes too much sense
        • 5 Years Ago
        The range is supposed to be like 200 miles . . . but yeah, it is harder to refuel after that. But that is twice the range of the Leaf.


        Phill is supposedly coming back . . .
        http://blogs.edmunds.com/greencaradvisor/2009/12/manufacture-of-home-natural-gas-fuelers-to-resume-in-2010.html
        • 5 Years Ago
        uh....Honda Civic GXs have been sold in Oklahoma for at least the last 3 years. glad to see the news is finally catching up.
        • 5 Years Ago
        (I know this is off topic, but we don't have a forum to just shoot the breeze)

        I like the new avatar; it's as if you've let the Beemer go, laid it to rest. There was a black box for a short stint, which I can only assume was morning the loss... or for your support of world poverty day two days removed.
        • 5 Years Ago
        LOL Matt.. actually, the black box was Autoblog's fault. Funny though :P
        I'm going to miss the e36 a lot but i figured it was time to get a car with better fuel economy.

        Picked up a '96 200sx SE-R 5speed.. cool little car!
      • 5 Years Ago
      OK, they've got lots of natural gas is Oklahoma. But it is not exactly a progressive place looking to change . . . it is a very reactionary place.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Can someone tell me why a SCUBA compressor costs $350 while a PHIL costs $10,000?

      Every car in the US can be quickly and easily converted to NG. It creates only 50% of the CO2 when it burns and it leaves nearly zero combustion components, so your ICE never wears out. 10% less power is a non-issue ... how often does anyone push their car to 100% power by flooring it? Besides, turbos, superchargers and larger engines can easily restore any power lost.

      Auto manufacturers don't want it because you won't have to replace your car every 5 years. Auto dealers don't want it because without gas fouling your oil and plugs, you never need tune ups or routine repair. Oil companies don't want it for obvious reasons.
      And when the powers that be don't want it, we'll never see it. Manufacturers love electric cars because they are more expensive (higher profit margin), copper connections corrode in normal use, and the battery only lasts 5 years.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Again, makes more sense than hydrogen. They should make as many as people will buy. It's good to have a variety of real world alternatives that don't require some new and overly expensive infrastructure.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder if Honda could make a NG burning co-generation machine.. a small single cylinder ICE (burning NG) runs a compressor to make CNG, the heat of compression plus the exhaust heat is also used to heat up water. Hopefully a unit that would require less maintenance than the Phil... and make the tank big enough to refuel the car a couple of times.
      cote6
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Phil is still around. Autobloggreen reported the sale of the company in May 2009.

      http://green.autoblog.com/2009/05/02/hondas-fuelmaker-finds-a-new-home/

      They are still around. Here is the website.

      http://www.brcfuelmaker.it/ing/residenziale.asp

      Phil dealers are listed here

      http://www.impcotechnologies.com/phill-dealers.asp

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