CNG Car

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SailAway's picture
SailAway
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 11 2010
Posts: 404
CNG Car

I recall members talking about CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) powered cars. I was wondering if anybody has experience with the Honda Civic GX CNG ?

My understanding is the federal $4,000 tax credit expires on December 31st this year. I live in SoCal and there a few refill stations on my commute way to work so I'm thinking buying a Civic GX before the end of the year.
 
Thanks!
geodad04's picture
geodad04
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Joined: Jan 26 2009
Posts: 6
Re: CNG Car

I looked into them a while back. There are pretty high gas pressures involved in the storage tank.  The "fast fill" option stresses the tank as well. Agreed that failures have been few and far between, but I'd hate to be that one in a million...

ltlredwagon's picture
ltlredwagon
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 23 2008
Posts: 87
Re: CNG Car

I'm looking at the CNG Hondas as well.  I'll probably go used if I get one.  I think they've been made since 1998.  

A variety of home refueling stations are available - your Honda dealer can tell you the name of the company that sells them, but I think it's in the San Dimas, CA area.  With one of these your fuel cost is about $1.00 a gallon.   And the Hondas get about 35 mpg I think.   I think the "cheap" home refueling device is about $4,000 and seems to be rather "iffy" - very slow refill (1/2 gallon an hour I think) and requires maintenance in 6 months which cannot be done by local techs.   $15,000 (plus $5,000 maintenance over 10 years) gets you a faster refill device and local tech maintenance.  Very expensive.

There are a lot of refueling stations in So Cal and prices are all over the place.   One guy I know fills up in Riverside for $1.25 a gallon.   There are some at around $2.00 a gallon but most seem to be in the $2.50 range.

I would like to know the source of geodad's data that fast-fill stresses the tank.  And I'd also like to know specifics on whether or not any Honda GX tank has ever failed in normal use, or been hit and exploded, etc..    I wouldn't want to speculate about safety or lack of safety without any hard data and statistics.

 

 

SailAway's picture
SailAway
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 11 2010
Posts: 404
Re: CNG Car
I'm looking for a used one too and I'll used the refueling stations for now since I'm moving to a rental place. Around San Diego it seems to be between $2 and $2.5 per equivalent gallons. I did test drive the 2011 model two days ago and it seems to be a nice car, no difference really from a regular gas engine. The trunk is 1/2 the size of the regular Civic since it is used for the CNG tank. The only down side really is the range is around 240 miles so I'll have to refill once a week. I'm not worry about the risk of explosion, from what I've read it's safe. 5% to 15% of natural gas mixed with oxygen is needed to burn. Under and above this concentration it wouldn't burn and NC is very volatile so in case of accident for instance the risk of explosion is low.
 
Thanks for your posts!
Fred
AustinD's picture
AustinD
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Joined: Jan 10 2011
Posts: 1
Re: CNG Car

So that Honda is CNG powered. I knew of the Ford Focus Electric car. It is said to be the rival of Nissan Leaf. The Focus Electric will be here soon. This first glimpse should stimulate the palate of the auto industry, which is looking forward to seeing more of the Focus Electric at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show.

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