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2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas – Click above for high-res image gallery

Californians seeking solo-driving access to the state's High Occupancy Vehicle lanes need look no further than the Honda Civic GX, a compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle that's permitted to use HOV lanes until January 2015.

Right now, Honda is the only automaker that sells a CNG-fueled light-duty passenger vehicle in the U.S. The Civic GX (1998-2011), with its Inherently Low Emissions Vehicle (ILEV) status, qualifies for California's white HOV sticker, which is available in unlimited quantities and, unlike the state's yellow stickers that expired on July 1, 2011, is valid until January 2015.

This fall, the all new 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas – also a white-sticker-eligible vehicle – will launch. The CNG-burnin' 2012 Civic gets, according to Honda's estimates, 27/38/31 miles per gasoline gallon equivalent (that's city/highway/combined). Compared to the outgoing 2011 model, city fuel economy improves by 12.5 percent, and highway mileage is up 5.5 percent.

So, drivers in California who want to cruise in the HOV lane all alone in their cars have a handful of options, including snatching up a a late model Civic GX, waiting for the upcoming Civic Natural Gas, buying a Nissan Leaf or hunting down one of the other qualified vehicles.



Live Photos Copyright ©2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: Honda]
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Natural Gas - Powered Honda Civic Retains CA HOV Lane Access Until 2015

All-new Civic Natural Gas model on-sale this fall


07/11/2011 - TORRANCE, Calif.

California drivers of the current Civic GX compressed natural gas (CNG) - powered Civic and all-new Civic Natural Gas will continue to have access to the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) highway lane until January 2015. Honda is the only OEM currently selling in the United States a dedicated CNG-powered light duty vehicle designed and manufactured for retail sale. As an Inherently Low Emissions Vehicle (ILEV), the Civic Natural Gas qualifies for White Clean Air Vehicle decals, which are available in an unlimited quantity. Yellow Clean Air Vehicle decals for hybrid vehicles expired on July 1, 2011.

"Civic GX drivers in California have long enjoyed the benefits of driving a compressed natural gas vehicle, whether it was saving time commuting in the carpool lane, paying lower fuel prices, reducing dependence on oil or reducing their CO2 footprint," said Elmer Hardy, senior manager of alternative fuel marketing at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "With the all-new model coming this fall, drivers will continue to earn these benefits along with additional commuter-friendly features."

The 2012 Civic Natural Gas model receives innovative features consistent with the entire all-new Civic lineup. The new "intelligent" Multi-Information Display (i-MID) provides a convenient platform for integration of vehicle information and compatible personal electronics with a driver-oriented 5-inch color LCD display and intuitive steering wheel controls. Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® for compatible mobile phones and a USB audio interface for compatible music players are also standard. For the first time ever, the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with voice recognition and FM Traffic is available in the Civic Natural Gas. The navigation system database uniquely includes retail CNG fueling locations.

The Civic Natural Gas (named the Civic GX from 1998-2011) has a Honda-estimated city/highway/combined fuel economy rating1 of 27/38/31 miles per gallon (gasoline-gallon equivalent). Compared to the 2011 model, city fuel economy improves by 12.5 percent, and highway fuel economy is up by 5.5 percent. The Civic Natural Gas includes Honda's ECO Assist™ technology, an innovation that can enhance efficient vehicle operation at the touch of a button while also providing visual feedback to promote and confirm an efficient driving style.

Drivers of compressed natural gas vehicles enjoy a growing public station network, for convenient and economical refueling. California has the most robust compressed natural gas infrastructure in the nation, with over 110 public stations located throughout the state. From a value standpoint, when purchased at public fueling stations, natural gas historically has cost about 30-percent less per gasoline-gallon-equivalent (GGE) compared to gasoline.

Demand for the current Civic GX in California has been unprecedented, with sales tripling for the first half of the year compared to the same period last year. Interested customers in the new 2012 Civic Natural Gas are encouraged to visit their local qualified Honda Natural Gas dealer.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      Ford Future
      • 4 Years Ago
      Go California, encourage POLLUTION, thru Fracking, which releases Large Quantities of Methane gas, along with capped wells that will have to be maintained FOREVER. Plus, during a global Drought DESTROY More Water Supply. Capitalism: The STUPIDEST System Invented when you let the Capitalists determine Energy Policy.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        ford, I gave your comment a "thumbs up" eval, and it showed as a minus. No opportunity to edit. You're correct about Capitalism. Capitalism is our problem. It's been Capitalism vs. democracy since the 1980s. People don't seem able to separate the two in their minds. Too many think it's unpatriotic to be against capitalism. Sad. Ignorant. Capitalism by its very nature, and its purpose, is designed to make a very FEW very wealthy. This is totally at odds with the basic notion of democracy. Capitalism vs. democracy is very much WW III. Guess who's winning.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 4 Years Ago
      it should not get any preferential treatment. it's an entirely conventional car running on fossil fuel. it doesn't even have a dishonest measure of electrical components like a prius does.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'd like the commercial better if it said 23k$
      Spec
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm kinda surprised that natural gas vehicles are not more popular. Natural gas is cheap, they have good range, they are clean, you get to use the carpool lane . . . strange. Natural gas should be good for a decade or so but eventually we need to move to electricity. So we might as well just skip them and go straight to electric cars. Use the natural gas to power natural gas power plants, they'll be much more efficient at combustion. Of course there is transmission loss & charging loss but the EV probably still comes out ahead efficiency wise.. (Or at least breaks even.)
        M Peter Selman
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Spec
        I think the other reasons. Big No.1 is the lack of advertisement. No. 2 the sad shoe-box for a trunk can be a real turn-off. A little harsh, perhaps, but that's why most turned towards hybrids; you get to put more junk in the trunk!
        GeorgeS
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Spec
        totally agree. We need CCNG plants made by GE to fuel this revolution (60% eta) and..... Fuel made in the US w/ ultra low CO2 emissions (natural gas) and.... EV's made in the US to get us to a lower carbon signature AND to be less reliant on foreign oil. In the long run it's Nuclear and renewables. It will happen by default when we either kill the planet or run out of fossil fuels (or both).
      goodoldgorr
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why is it natural gas only and not bi-fuel natural gas plus gasoline. It would be more practical when moving out far away to know that you gonna not be stuck out of nat gas. Selled that way with only nat gas, i'd say it's a nerd car only.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 4 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Because it would be even more expensive than it is right now. Look, the CNG car has an approximate 200 mile range on a fillup. That's not bad at all. Filling it up costs 1/3rd of the price of gasoline. It's cheaper than a hybrid and CNG is very clean, so it has emissions like a hybrid. If this is a nerd car, it's perfect for us nerds ;)
          goodoldgorr
          • 4 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Imagine vacation time far from home been struck without nat gas, it would be costlier renting a car for a week or two, it even cost more then an hybrid even if it is not clean emissions only a nerd will buy and write about a subpar product that is not hybrid fuels when gasoline can help far from home.
          Ford Future
          • 4 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          No, it's Not Clean to Frack it. Secondly, remember those "property rights" the right is always talking about? Well, the FRACKERS pass laws to take those away from you, they get to drill under your land for free.