• Sep 21st 2010 at 7:57PM
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2010 Honda Civic GX – Click above for high-res image gallery

When assembling a list of green cars from Honda, the usual suspects include vehicles like the Insight, Civic Hybrid and perhaps even the FCX Clarity. Often overlooked, though no less green, is the natural gas-fueled Civic GX. In fact, the CNG-powered GX has topped the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy's (ACEEE) list of greenest vehicles in land for seven years and counting. The GX is also the only mass-market compressed natural gas vehicle available in the U.S. But with reported sales of less than 2,000 GXs in 2009, using the term "mass-market" doesn't seem quite right.

Just days ago, Honda confirmed that its natural gas-burning GX model would still be offered when the next-gen Civic debuts for the 2012 year. But the story doesn't end there. Elmer Hardey, Honda's senior manager of alternative vehicles, spoke with the folks over at Hybrid Cars and outlined the company's plans for the GX in this way:
Anticipating growth in sales of CNG vehicles, not only in California but nationwide. We're considering doubling sales in the next two- to three-year horizon. If a customer wants to move away from petroleum, then CNG and electric vehicles are a good choice. Obviously, battery electric vehicles are a further choice away from petroleum than a hybrid or plug-in hybrid. Maybe you want to move away from oil and use a U.S.-based resource. Natural gas fits that need very effectively
Hardey closed the interview with this, "There's no chance that Honda will develop a new dedicated model that runs on CNG."

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[Source: Hybrid Cars]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Weird list. There is no mention of Tesla Roadster, which should be on the top of the green list in all possible realistic calculations.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ham interrested to bye if they also fit a secondary gasoline tank and also if they offer a sporty tuning for natural gas because it's easier to still meet emissions standards. Don't forget the small home portative anerobic biomass digester to make natural gas at home with basically garbages, it should add 2000$ approx. Im sure someone can always drive with home natural gas and the small gasoline tank is just when you go far and there is no natural gas outlet indicated on the gps.

      • 5 Years Ago
      There is a lot of hay being made over the comment in the article about NG being a domestic resource and how the current wave of NG exploration uses 'frac' techniques that are contaminating ground water - there are massive stores of crystalline natural gas in deep ocean deposits with mind boggling energy densities. Enough to power the world through the development of more renewable forms of energy.

      I heard a chemist talking about oil. What he said was that, in his eyes, burning oil was a waste of one of the greatest resources that we have. Look around you, the modern world is built on synthetics produced from oil. Burning such a fundamental resource is insane.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Exploiting methane hydrates is not withour it's problems, and not a technology we currently have available, indeed we may never be able to do it economically.
        In my view choices should be made at present on the basis of what we presently can do - if other options become available at a later date, well and good, but don't count the chickens.

        I'm not generally a great fan of biofuels, but they can certainly produce enough for synthetics, which use about 5% or so of a barrel of oil.
        For that sort of purpose the tar sands etc are , for practical purposes, also efffectively infinite, or at least immense.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good idea since their hybrids suck.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Have you seen the practically non-existent trunk on the Civic GX?
        It is smaller than the hybrid trunk.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ha, true. At least they have the whole CNG thing going for them. Too bad they are not taking it seriously. And it sounds like killing the PHIL device really ruined things for GX owners.
      • 5 Years Ago
      At least it's the most viable solution for now. The only problem
      is finding the fueling infrastructure. Where I live you have to get
      CNG in the city yard & they won't let the public use their facilities.
      The best thing about it is that we have plenty of domestic supply.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Try Googling the "Halliburton Loophole" to find out the law "protecting" Halliburton from having to release their "secret" fraccing fluid, that is what is poisoning the groundwater. If you can, watch the movie "Gasland".

        It is criminal, as far as I'm concerned.

        Sincerely, Neil
        • 5 Years Ago
        There is a discussion about fracking and the water supply here:

        Unfortunately on this ocmputer I do not have some of the links I would like to refer to, but Rockman on TOD, an oil engineer, is interesting, and I found his basic take persuasive.

        If properly conducted then the risks from gas fracking (he said) are minimal, as the amounts are comparatively small and kept away from the water table.
        However, as he argued, the question is whether the regualtion and monitoring is done right.

        On from that I would argue that an exemption from saying what chemicals are being put in is plainly absurd.
        However, if you want energy the reality is that if you want energy all ways of getting it have risks and may cause pollution - and I certainly include wind and solar in that.
        So rather than blanket bans, what if needed is proper regulation and control, rather than regulators who are confident of a cushy job in the industry after their time controlling it in a revolving door appointment, and so meanwhile can spend their time watching porn.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This is "Republican" economics.
        When some jerk's "Self Interest" is more important then the health and water supply of his community. As long as you don't know how sick you'll get from water contamination, it's a Win for someone else's wallet.

        The "Republicans" simply cannot adjust to the fact that we need a Sustainable Energy supply that doesn't kill people, either by polluted water, foreign wars.


        • 5 Years Ago
        You can get cancer lesions from methane in your drinking water.
        The law suits from fracking haven't even started yet.
        But, you watch there's a "Republican" somewhere writing a law to protect the gas industry. You can count on it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It is more efficient to use the NG to make electricity for use in a EV. Fracking is not good for ground water. Many hazardous chemicals are injected thousands of feet into the ground.

        I got in on the last part of a program on TV that T-bone was in. T-bone said he never heard of any contamination of ground water from Fracking but in 22 states they frack for NG and many of them have reports of contamination of ground water. Pickens maintains that the fracking solution is injected far below the water tables.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Honda will not be able to sale GX because of price premium of $8,000. Initial cost does not justify saving on gas. Car pool convenience will offset with inconvenience of smaller tank.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's a hard sell; notably lower range ( about 200 miles rather than 300-500, i think? ), hard to find fuel now that the PHIL is gone, $8000 more, less power... it's not looking great.

        The only upside is that CNG burns extremely clean. I bet that car has no emissions equipment whatsoever. It is literally as clean or cleaner than a Toyota Prius.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You think Honda won't be able to sell it, yet here we have an article where the are considering doubling production because they currently sell every one they make.

        People used to call say Honda was conspiring *against* they GX, because they wouldn't make enough to satisfy demand - then Honda increased their production numbers, and sold every one.

        "Japanese Honda is suppressing its own alternative fuel technology and denying its cars and home refueling devices to Americans eager to get off of oil."

        "Nowhere is this suppression strategy more visible than with the Honda GX, sometimes called “the greenest car in America.” Honda has ensured GX is also “the most unavailable car in America.”

        "But then a clear and present solution to oil dependence suddenly began to go bad. First, the vehicle was deliberately made less attractive. For example, Honda has earned a reputation for outfitting its cars with some of the finest audio systems and GPS navigation units on the highway. But these were not available with the GX. The stereo was whole steps behind gasoline-based Civics. Nor was GPS available. The company will not explain why it dumbed down the GX, especially since many upscale drivers wanted the vehicle."

        "For now, Honda has discussed resuming production in June 2009 and adding a few dozen cars per month as a token gesture. But for now, nothing is certain except that the company will probably answer inquiries by claiming gas stations do not exist for the home-refueled vehicle, and that there is no demand for such a car. It is unknown if Honda will erase the exclusion zone around Spokane and finally permit anyone there to purchase even one."


        (this guy sounds like some of the conspiracy theorists here on ABG)
        • 8 Months Ago
        Thanks Letstakeawalk, now we know what we are in for when Ford and GM start selling EV's. Way to gouge them on the accessories and availability Honda, it the same as oil, keep demand high and limit supply.

        • 8 Months Ago
        AFAIK the ludicrous premium in the US is simply because GM andd Honda want to claim to have a green alternative, but unless they make a ridiculous premium on it don't really want you to buy it, just to get you in the showrooms to buy a petrol car.
        Of course, low volumes put up costs in a viscious spiral.
        The Government has also done nothing to encourage it, with few pumps available - Italy pushed it.
        • 8 Months Ago
        It is $8000 more? Ouch. For $2K or $3K, that would be fine.

        But for $8K more? I'd rather get the Leaf.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Why is the NG premium so high in the US compared to Europe.. different safety regulations?. GM also has those absurdly high NG premiums.

        Last I heard the Phil was available again.
        • 8 Months Ago
        LTAW; very informative, thanks for the post.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Honda do not seem to be 'for' anything.
        They will hardly promote the extension of the natural gas infrastructure by confirming that they have no plans at all for more models.
        Their premium is also absurd. Fiat produce natural gas, and bi-fuel, so that on a journey you can top up with petrol where NG is not available, at little or no premium to conventional models.
        There are 400,000 of them on the roads in Italy, and millions elsewhere.
        I don't go all the way with the Picken's plan but 10 million or so NG vehicles could certainly be built and supplied in the US, and that would greatly reduce air pollution and increase security as against imported oil as essential supplies of goods could get through.
        Perhaps Fiat/Crylser will introduce some.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Pickens Army must be growing.
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