Green Update: Switching to Natural Gas

2012 Honda Civic GX

The 2012 Honda Civic GX (above) is announced as an “all-new” car, the only dedicated natural-gas-powered car produced and sold in the U.S. Honda introduced it in 1998; it has won various awards; and it keeps on selling here in fairly small numbers—about 2,000 units in 2009.

As often happens, being green will cost you: The GX costs $26,155, a big premium over the standard Civic sedan. Is it worth the extra green?

Of course it is—if:

you live near one of the estimated 946 operating natural gas fueling stations you want to do your part for clean air (CNG is the cleanest burning fuel available, almost no CO2 emissions) you want to use no imported fuel; CNG is 85 percent homegrown you get a $4,000 incentive from the Feds, or live in a state like California that offers credits of $2,000 for home chargers you want to drive your car a long time (CNG-powered engines last much longer than gas-powered ones) by investing in a home charger, you’ll fuel up at less than half the cost of gasoline you want to achieve fuel economy of 27/38/31 mpg.

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