For years the state of California has been allowing drivers of alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles to use the High Occupancy Vehicle (carpool) lanes on the highways even when they are going solo. Honda has just announced that drivers of the new natural gas powered 2007 Civic GX will also be eligible to use the HOV lanes. By allowing drivers of such vehicles to use the less congested carpool lane, the state is providing an incentive for people to buy alternative vehicles. Civic GX buyers might also be eligible for federal tax credits of up to $4,000 in the year when they buy the car. Buyers can also get a $1,000 credit for buy a "Phill" home natural gas refueling station. The Honda press release is after the jump
2007 Honda Natural Gas Vehicles Maintain Eligibility for Single-Occupant Use of California High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes
Owners of Civic GX can still register to receive single driver identification stickers
Customers who purchase a Honda natural gas-powered vehicle continue to be eligible for single-occupant use of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOVs) lanes in California. The 2007 Honda Civic GX is the only new vehicle that is eligible for consumers to register for single occupant HOV permits (AB 2628), now that the maximum number of 85,000 hybrid vehicle HOV permits have been issued. Consumers should refer to the California Air Resources Board's website www.arb.ca.gov for further information.
"The single-occupant HOV permits reward consumers who purchase vehicles that achieve the highest levels of environmental performance," said John Mendel, senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Honda continues to be a leader in producing vehicles that set the standard for low emissions and fuel economy."
This leadership is underscored by the fact that Honda is the most fuel efficient car company in America according to EPA fuel economy ratings ( 1). High fuel economy has always been part of Honda's strategy. New Honda Civic GX buyers may also be eligible for a $4,000 federal tax credit ( 2) when they file their tax return for the year in which the vehicle was purchased.
Additionally, buyers of the natural gas vehicle home refueling appliance "Phill" are also eligible for up to a $1,000 tax credit. Phill allows consumers to refuel a natural gas-powered Civic GX from their home at a much lower fuel cost than gasoline. Honda is currently the only manufacturer to market a natural gas passenger car to fleet operators nationwide and directly to consumers in the states of California and New York. The home refueling appliance "Phill" can also be leased in conjunction with the natural gas-powered Civic GX at certain California and New York Honda dealers. Consumer information is available at www.honda.com.
1 Based on model year 2005 CAFE average fuel economy ratings and weighted sales for passenger-car and light truck fleets sold in the U.S. by major manufacturers.
2 Various limitations to the credit may apply, depending on the specific circumstances of the customer, and Honda is encouraging customers to contact the IRS or a tax advisor to determine if and how the tax credit will apply to their vehicle purchase or lease.