Honda says that the natural gas vehicle offers fuel savings up to 40 percent compared to a typical gasoline-powered subcompact car with its 31 miles per gallon combined EPA rating. Natural gas was costing customers $2.05 per equivalent gasoline gallon in July, according to the most recent Deptartment of Energy data. While not covered in its press release (see below), there are other considerations that car shoppers should research, such as:
- Finding a natural gas station: Clean Energy doesn't state the specific number of public fueling stations that there are in the US, but the numbers are limited. A lot of these stations are behind locked gates at government and business fleet facilities, airports, and bus and utility vehicle gas pumps. Looking over Clean Energy's map, it looks like there are about 180 public natural gas stations, about forty percent of them in Southern California.
- Range limitations: The regular Honda Civic sedan has a gas tank that can hold up to 13.2 gallons and has a combined city/highway mileage rating of 32 miles per gallon for the automatic transmission version. That would mean it could travel 422 miles on a tank of gasoline. Honda gives the Civic Natural Gas a range estimate of 220 miles. Part of the reason for this conservative estimate is that different stations refill CNG differently, and ambient temperature has an effect on how much gas can make it into the tank. There's also a limit to how much natural gas the pressurized tank can hold.
- Price comparison: Natural gas is appealing for those interested in reducing their out-of-pocket fuel expense, with a $2.05 per equivalent gasoline gallon the number cited by Honda, compared to the current national average for gasoline at about $3.80 a gallon. The downside is that the Civic Natural Gas is the most expensive version of the Civic, with its sticker price starting at $27,065 after destination.
Civic Natural Gas Vehicle uses fuel that is currently $2 cheaper than gasoline Allows single occupant access to HOV "carpool" lanes in CA and other states
Fighting back against a spike in gasoline prices and building on momentum from record sales of the Civic Natural Gas Vehicle, American Honda today announced that it is working with Clean Energy Fuels Corp., America's largest owner of public compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations, and participating Honda dealers to provide a special savings to customers purchasing a new 2012 Civic Natural Gas Vehicle – a debit card pre-loaded with $3,000 that can be used at Clean Energy CNG fueling stations around the country to purchase fuel*. In addition to the fuel card savings, 2012 Civic Natural Gas Vehicle customers in California may have the added benefit of single-occupant access to High Occupancy Vehicle "carpool" lanes through January 1, 2015.**
With a combined EPA fuel economy rating of 31 mpg and a fuel cost savings of up to 40 percent compared to a typical gasoline-powered compact car, the Civic Natural Gas Vehicle can significantly reduce the pain at the pump. The Civic Natural Gas Vehicle can also be refueled in a matter of minutes, much like a conventional gasoline-powered car, and should be able to cover over 200 miles on a single tank of fuel (depending on driving conditions and style).
The nation-wide average price of natural gas fuel for vehicles in July was $2.05 per equivalent gasoline gallon, according to the most recent Department of Energy, Clean Cities Alternative Fuel Price report on fuel prices. Ninety-eight percent of natural gas consumed in North America is domestically produced.
The 2012 Civic Natural Gas Vehicle, the only OEM produced natural-gas powered passenger vehicle in the U.S, posted record sales since going on-sale in October 2011 as a new model, increasing 22 percent versus the same period a year ago, highlighting continued growing consumer interest in practical alternatives to gasoline, and natural gas in particular.
Named the "2012 Green Car of the Year" by Green Car Journal and one of the "greenest vehicles of 2012" by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), the redesigned 2012 Civic Natural Gas Vehicle runs on cleaner, abundant and domestically sourced inexpensive natural gas.
The Civic Natural Gas Vehicle is available for purchase at 199 certified Honda CNG dealers in 36 states. It is the only dedicated CNG-powered passenger car available for retail purchase from a major automaker and is manufactured exclusively by Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, LLC in Greensburg, Indiana, using domestic and globally sourced parts.
Consumers interested in learning more about their refueling locations can visit Clean Energy's web-based station locator at http://www.cleanenergyfuels.com for a listing of stations in their area.
Customers interested in receiving a $3000 fuel card with the purchase of a new 2012 Civic Natural Gas Vehicle must make their purchase from a participating Honda CNG dealer on or before January 2, 2013; the supply of fuel cards and model year 2012 Civic Natural Gas Vehicles is limited. For more information on the fuel card promotion, visit www.CNGfuelcard.honda.com.
Honda Environmental Leadership
Besides producing the Civic Natural Gas Vehicle, Honda has developed numerous technologies to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, including the Honda Fit EV and the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV). Honda has also led the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) rankings of overall vehicle environmental performance since 2000, and a Honda vehicle has topped the list of America's greenest vehicles, from the America Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), for 11 consecutive years.
About Clean Energy
Clean Energy (Nasdaq: CLNE) is the largest provider of natural gas fuel for transportation in North America and a global leader in the expanding natural gas vehicle fueling market. We have operations in compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicle fueling and construction and operation of natural gas fueling stations. Wholly-owned subsidiaries include BAF Technologies, which provides natural gas vehicle systems and conversions for taxis, vans, pick-up trucks and shuttle buses; IMW Industries, Ltd., which supplies CNG equipment for vehicle fueling and industrial applications worldwide; NorthStar, which supplies LNG and liquefied to compressed natural gas fueling system technologies and equipment, station construction and operations; and Clean Energy Renewable Fuels (CERF), which develops renewable natural gas (RNG), or biomethane, production facilities in the U.S. For more information, visit www.cleanenergyfuels.com.
"With gas prices spiking in California, Civic Natural Gas vehicles sales at an all time high, and the public gaining greater awareness of the benefits of using natural gas, we believe this a great time to launch our fuel card promotion with our partner Clean Energy." said Steve Center, vice president of the American Honda Environmental Business Development Office. "If you're looking to save money at the pump, spend less time in traffic, and reduce your environmental impact, the 2012 Civic Natural Gas Vehicle is a great choice."
"Drivers have increasingly seen a greater percentage of their dollars going down their car's gasoline tanks," said Peter Grace, senior vice president of Clean Energy for sales. "For the average driver, the $3000 Clean Energy fuel card provided by Honda will translate into two to three years of not paying for fuel. The significant cost savings, positive environmental benefits and access to car pool lanes will make new Civic Natural Gas Vehicle owners the envy of the road."
* While supply of fuel cards last. Available only at participating Honda certified Civic NGV Dealers. See participating dealers for details. Fuel card subject to the terms and conditions set forth by issuer. Recipient is responsible for all federal, state or local taxes on the fuel card, regardless of whether the card is used in whole or in part. Clean Energy fueling stations not located in every city/state.
** See your state's website for more information. Single-occupant access to the California State Route 110 and Interstate 10 HOV toll lanes in Los Angeles County only available from March 2, 2014 through January 1, 2015.