For more on the Civic GX's natural-gas powertrain and the innovative home-fueling station that keeps it going at a fraction of the cost of gasoline, launch the slideshow.
Behold the car that could displace the Toyota Prius as the eco-ride of choice. The new natural-gas-powered Honda Civic GX uses domestically produced fuel–the same stuff your gas stove burns–that costs as little as one third the price of gasoline. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy calls it the cleanest-burning internal-combustion vehicle on Earth.
So what's not to like? Only the scarcity of places to fuel up. Honda has sold compressed-natural-gas (CNG) Civics to fleet operators for eightyears-because they have their own CNG pumps, they don't have to search for the rare public ones. But thanks to a new home fueling station, anyone can fill up in their driveway.
The car drives like any other, and no, it's not a rolling bomb-CNGis actually less volatile than gas. Beyond its supply lines and fuel tank, the only difference between it and a regular Civic is a specialized fuel injector. Well, that and its gas bill.
2007 Honda GX
Fuel economy: 29/39 mpg
Fuel capacity: 8 gallons (gas equivalent)
Over the next year, PopSci will drive the Civic GX and gas it up with the Phill home refueling station. It's hard to argue with the GX's fuel cost and environmental benefit, but is Phill enough to make the GX practical? Find out in regular updates on the following page.
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