Honda Announces Pricing for Natural Gas Civic, but Comparing it to Other Models Could Prove Difficult for Consumers

Honda has announced pricing for its redesigned 2012 Civic GX, which will be available in 38 U.S. states beginning October 18. The new GX will start at $26,115—about $600 more than the 2011 model, which Honda has sold in just a handful of states since 1999. More than a decade later, with gas prices higher and natural gas supporters like T. Boone Pickens clamoring for more CNG vehicles on American roads, Honda finally relented, promising to expand production of the Civic GX and expand its availability to 34 more states. To date, the GX remains the only mass-produced natural gas car sold to consumers in the United States.

Fuel economy for the new Civic GX will improve a bit for 2012, with city mileage increasing from 24 mpg to 27 mpg and highway mileage bumping from 34 mpg up to 38 mpg, for a combined rating of 31 mpg. Of course, since natural gas is typically at least 30 percent cheaper than gasoline and runs on a different efficiency formula, those numbers can be very misleading.

Edmunds, which calculates efficiency based on
projected monthly fuel cost, recently pegged the cost to run a 2011 GX at $55 per month—compared $90 per month for the 50-mpg Toyota Prius. So according to Edmunds, despite receiving an EPA fuel economy rating that’s about 45 percent lower than that of the Prius, the cost to fuel a Civic GX is about 40 percent cheaper. As is usually the case when doing these kinds of fuel economy calculations, your results may (and probably will) vary.

This equivalency may prove too confusing for many consumers to handle. As Autoblog Green
points out , the Civic Hybrid starts about $1,350 cheaper than the GX model and offers an EPA rating of 44 mpg. Without an understanding of the true cost-to-operate equation for both cars, the hybrid—and even non-hybrid—versions of car seem like far superior values. Under the Edmunds’ monthly fuel cost estimate, the average GX driver will save $624 per year compared to the 2011 Civic Hybrid and $1,188 per year compared to the $15,805 Civic Sedan.

Of course, if natural gas supporters in Congress get their way, the proposed
2011 NATGAS Act could change the equation dramatically for car shoppers. The bill would offer a tax rebates of as much as $7,500 toward the purchase of a new natural gas vehicle—matching the incentive offered for electric cars. Knock that amount off the price of a new Civic GX, and the car could instantly become one of the best fuel economy values on the market in the United States.


  • Brian W

    It is great that it is so much cheaper than the hybrid after a rebate; however where do you fill up. Here in Florida I have yet to see NG available for automobiles. There are not even EV outlets for plugins; however one could have a charger in their house. Convenience to fill up is going to be the main issue with NG. Were is the infrastructure for this; at least for EVs there can be a personal infrastructure within their home. Also, fracking has also proved its impact on the environment. With EVs there is also an environmental impact; however solar and wind power can offset these impacts. I still believe EVs are the future, and these other alternatives are just supporting the oil corporations refusal to see their own end.

  • Brian W

    It is great that it is so much cheaper than the hybrid after a rebate; however where do you fill up. Here in Florida I have yet to see NG available for automobiles. There are not even EV outlets for plugins; however one could have a charger in their house. Convenience to fill up is going to be the main issue with NG. Were is the infrastructure for this; at least for EVs there can be a personal infrastructure within their home. Also, fracking has also proved its impact on the environment. With EVs there is also an environmental impact; however solar and wind power can offset these impacts. I still believe EVs are the future, and these other alternatives are just supporting the oil corporations refusal to see their own end.

  • MrEnergyCzar

    Easier to charge a car with a plug.

    MrEnergyCzar

  • Tom Schimmel

    Are there home-charging stations which uses existing natural gas service?

  • John K.

    There are about 950 public CNG fueling stations in the US. Sorry, BW, but it looks like there are only 2 in FL!

    In CA there appear to be a TON from Sacramento in the north to the Mexican border in the south, from the coast to the Central Valley. Just zoom in and out and move around the map at:
    http://www.cngnow.com/stations/Pages/information.aspx

    Refilling at public CNG stations is SUPER FAST compared to recharging BVs — it takes just a few minutes.

    There’s also Phill, the home appliance that hooks to your home’s natural gas line and will refill a Civic GX in 6 hrs, compared to 7 (220V) to 20 (120V) hours to recharge a LEAF.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CP1rkyI0OI4

    Plus, as that youtube shows, you get to use HOV lanes during commuting hours. :)

    Personally, I think a Honda Civic GX hybrid would be great — even cleaner and better mileage!
    The oil companies are not the natural gas companies. CNG gets you off of OPEC crude IMMEDIATELY! (except for tires, lubricants, plastics)

  • James Davis

    Isn’t it ironic how they complain about range anxiety with electric cars when the Tesla Model S, a very comfy car, can get up to 320 MPC and 0-60 in 4.5 seconds and recharge in about an hour and I would have to drive all the way to Florida to fill up that natural gas car, but at least I could fill up the natural gas car an hour faster than I could the 7 hour recharge, as stated in this report, electric one that I could do at home without the long drive every other day.

    Where I live in West Virginia, they are fracking natural gas but natural gas is still twice the cost of gasoline. Ironic isn’t it?

  • lowashington

    After reading the link referred to about the MFC, I’m left with doubts about the comparison. The reason the CNG vehicles fair better is simply because of the current price of CNG relative to oil. WE all know that these prices can vary (unexpectedly) with the availability of the resource. What happens when the price of CNG increases with demand coupled with finite supply of CNG? True, EV’s ultimately use another finite source (coal), however there are other alternate renewable sources (wind, solar, and nuclear) that can subsidize, and (if taken seriously with development dollars) soon REPLACE. Then there’s always the unresolved environmental concerns around how the fracture fluids (by-product of processing natural gas) are handled. I don’t trust anythingi our millionares in Congress are backing – they don’t have to live where we do!

  • Pablitos

    We need a cng plugin hybrid. By the way your evil oil companies pay more taxes than GE. Get a grip people, create a reality past your ideology. What does the environment gain my be plugging in my electric car to an outlet powered by coal? We can drill for oil and NG here safer and cleaner here then there while putting people to work and keeping the profits in the US.

    ALL OF THE ABOVE

  • David L

    The new GX is nice inside and out, and I’d love to buy one; however, one huge drawback is that the pressurized gas tank takes up about 80% of the (standard) trunk, leaving you with the cargo space of a Smart. I’ll wait until they creatively design the tank to allow a reasonable cargo area (hatchback?) without bloating up the exterior dimensions….

  • Shines

    The article and Honda do not seem to be mentioning that the conmpressed tank holds the equivalent of about 6 gallons. So the range before refueling is about 200 miles. Like an EV you would have to plan your trips carefully. (cheaper fillups – but more frequent)

  • Bobby S.

    ” The oil companies are not the natural gas companies. CNG gets you off of OPEC crude IMMEDIATELY! (except for tires, lubricants, plastics) “

    I beg to differ. Exxon doesn’t call it’s natural gas company Exxon but it owns many different ones. Take it from one who works for a new so called ” start up ” natural gas company. The pay check says Exxon on it.

  • docvb

    No one ever discusses the morality of skirting the road taxes by using nat gas, propane or electricity rather than the taxed fuels like gas or diesel.

    Given the governments addiction to taxing, how long before equivalent or worse fuel taxes are imposed?

  • Max Reid

    They priced it in such a way that no one with buy and no one with buy. In Asia, the auto companies charge only around $1,000 extra for CNG Bifuel version, why is Honda charging some $8,000 extra.

  • Duude

    While I’m not a supporter of government tax credits for these vehicles, if we’re going to offer them, this deserves as much of a tax credit as an EC. In fact, I’d rather see tax credits for natural gas and none for EC. EC’s aren’t ready for prime time. Battery technology is still years away, while we’re the saudi arabia of natural gas which is clean burning.

  • Yegor

    1. Truck is two times smaller than in gas Civic.
    2. Passenger salon access from the trunk is blocked by the fuel tank.

    I think Civic Hatchback or Wagon would better suit for a natural gas vehicle – the same as Hatchback and Wagon are better for hybrids.

    Why Honda does not offer a Civic CNG Hatchback?

  • Will Swigart

    Wanting a CNG Plug-in Hybrid for even better economy!

    Immensely disappointed in Ford for canceling the Escape Hybrid for 2013…I’ve been holding out for the Escape Plug-in Hybrid that Ford has been saying for years that it would deliver for 2012. Seems that unless these companies can sell several million of anything it isn’t going to build them…ugh.

  • Bill Donaldson

    Been following GNG fuel for many years. Too bad the CVT transmission is not offered with this model. Living in So Ca, I find about one in five dealers will have them even to show customers. If half the trunk space is taken by the fuel tank, I will wait for Honda to do their homework.
    Bill Donaldson

  • tapra1

    CNG vehicles on American roads, Honda finally relented, promising to expand production of the Civic GX and expand its availability.Surface News

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