Honda’s Natural Gas-Powered 2006 Civic GX and home refuelling appliance for New York market
By Mike Hanlon
April 25, 2006
April 26, 2006 Honda will begin retailing its compressed natural gas (CNG) Civic GX to New York state customers in the northern hemisphere autumn. The Civic GX uses lower-cost CNG as an alternative to gasoline, producing near zero emissions, making owners eligible for significant tax credits, enabling them to drive in the car pool lane and most significantly, enabling them to conveniently refuel at home using a natural gas refueling appliance. Significant advantages are available from the system as natural gas is 25 percent cheaper than gas at a refueling station, and 50 percent cheaper from a home refueling appliance. The “Phill” natural gas home refueling appliance is manufactured by FuelMaker and can be mounted to a wall either indoors or outdoors, and allows the GX to refuel overnight directly from a homeowner’s existing natural gas supply line. It is designed to offer ease of operation with simple “start” and “stop” buttons, and automatically shuts off when the tank is full. Civic GX owners who do not wish to purchase Phill can refuel at commercial natural gas refueling stations.
Based on the 2006 Civic, the Civic GX achieves a city/highway Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rated fuel economy of 28/39 miles per gasoline-gallon equivalent and meets federal Tier 2-Bin 2 and ILEV zero evaporative emission certification standards. The Civic GX is the only vehicle certified by the EPA to meet both of these extremely strict emission standards, as natural gas is a clean burning fuel.
The Civic GX offers customers comfort and convenient features comparable to a US-specification Civic LX – the most popular trim level in the Civic lineup – including the same standard safety features that have earned Civic the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s “Top Safety Pick – Gold” Award. Standard safety features include dual front airbags, side curtain airbags, driver’s side impact airbag, front passenger’s side impact airbag, ABS and Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Body structure (ACE).
Equipped standard with a 5-speed automatic transmission, its 1.8-litre, 4-cylinder engine delivers 115 horsepower and 109 ft-lbs of torque, both an increase of more than 10 percent versus the previous model.
Natural gas fuel is an ideal lower-cost alternative to gasoline. Primarily a domestically-produced fuel with a price that has proven to track below that of petroleum fuels, natural gas is approximately 25 percent less expensive than gasoline when purchased at a refueling station, and approximately 50 percent cheaper than gasoline when supplied by a home refueling appliance.
“Phill” – a natural gas home refueling appliance manufactured by FuelMaker Corporation – provides GX owners a convenient and affordable method of refueling at home. Phill can be mounted to a garage wall either indoors or outdoors, and allows the GX to refuel overnight directly from a homeowner’s existing natural gas supply line. It is designed to offer ease of operation with simple “start” and “stop” buttons, and automatically shuts off when the tank is full. Phill is sold separately from GX, and must be installed by a trained technician authorized by FuelMaker. Civic GX owners who do not wish to purchase Phill can refuel at conveniently located natural gas refueling stations across New York state.
In addition to convenient refueling, Civic GX owners are eligible for tax breaks and incentives of up to US$4,000 for the car and up to US$1,000 for the purchase and installation of “Phill”. Both GX and Phill benefit from the federal tax credits enacted Jan 1, 2006, for clean alternative fuel vehicles and fueling infrastructure.
Honda already markets the Civic GX to fleet operators with their own fueling stations, and has begun offering the Civic GX and Phill to its customers at select dealers in California.
Natural gas-powered vehicles are part of Honda's energy strategy to offer the best available technology for the reduction of air pollution and petroleum dependence and serves as an enabling technology for hydrogen fuel cell cars in the future. The 2006 Civic GX will be assembled in East Liberty, Ohio.