Honda Civic GX CNG Gas
|Class||Subcompact (1998-2000) Compact (2001-present)|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
The Honda Civic GX is the only car factory-built to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) in the U.S. available to non-fleet customers. The GX is based on the Honda Civic and is available for fleet sales in all 50 states in the US. It was previously available for retail sales in four states (California, New York, Utah and Oklahoma), but as of October 18, 2011, the Civic GX is available to retail consumers in 35 states throughout the U.S The GX has been manufactured in Honda's Greensburg, Indiana plant together with the production of conventional Civics from late 2009. It was previously produced in East Liberty, Ohio.
For eight years in a row up to 2011, the Civic GX had been rated first by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy in the "Greenest Vehicle of the Year" list. For 2011, the GX was classified ahead of the two recently launched plug-in electric vehicles, the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt, but was surpassed in 2012 by the Mitsubishi i-MiEV The third generation GX was awarded the 2012 Green Car of the Year by the Green Car Journal in November 2011 at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The Honda Civic GX first appeared in 1998 as a factory-modified Civic LX that had been designed to run exclusively on CNG (compressed natural gas). In 1998 the Civic GX cost $4500 more than a comparable Civic LX.The car looks and drives just like a contemporary Honda Civic LX, but does not run on gasoline. In 2001, the Civic GX was rated the cleanest-burning internal combustion engine in the world by the EPA.
The GX was first leased to the City of Los Angeles to be used by parking enforcement officers and other city employees as a live beta test. The GX follows the same model year design changes as the Civic LX model, until the model year 2001 when a CVT (continuously variable transmission) was introduced in place of the 4 speed automatic transmission. In the 2006 year model, the GX again was equipped with the automatic 5 speed transmission, which increased its mileage and extended its range to 250 miles.
In 1998 the GX was available for special order in some states to consumers (California and Colorado in particular).
In 2006, the Civic went through its greatest modification since its inception. All variants of the Civic were awarded the 2006 Motor Trend "Car of the Year" award. The 8th generation Civic remains unchanged from 2006 and is also available in the GX model. The GX is a very limited-availability car with fewer than a thousand units per year being produced by the factory.
In October 2006, the 2007 Civic GX became available in New York. In July 2009, the GX became available to the public in Utah. In April 2010 the GX became available to the public in Oklahoma. The CNG Civic in this market relates to favorable natural gas costs and the numerous high pressure filling stations. The promotion of CNG conversions by natural gas producers headquartered in Oklahoma provided incentive for Honda to market the Civic GX there. State of Oklahoma incentives are available and are also a factor that led United Parcel Service to convert part of their delivery truck fleet to CNG Since December 2010, the GX is available for fleet sales in all 50 states. Retail sales were expanded to 35 states in the fall of 2011.
In 2008 Honda planned to expand annual production from 1,000 to 2,000 for 2009 model year, and doubled again to 4,000 for 2010 model year.
Since 2004 and up to 2011, Honda Civic GX has been rated first in the "Greenest Vehicle of the Year" list elaborated by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. For 2011, the GX classified ahead of the recently launched Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle Chevrolet Volt, and tied with the plug-in electric vehicle Nissan Leaf.
The GX was originally introduced with a 1.6 liter I4 engine. The 2001 model make-over carried a 1.7 liter engine. Beginning in model-year 2006, the 1.8 liter inline four-cylinder engine was introduced to the Civic lineup.
Compression in the Civic GX is 12.5:1, higher than that of most US pump gasoline-powered automobiles. The significantly higher compression ratio is usable without detonation due to the 120-octane natural gas that powers the car. Acceleration of the 2012 Civic Natural Gas is less than that of the comparable 4-door 2012 LX model due to both lower power (110 hp vs. 140 hp) and heavier weight (2848 lbs vs 2705 lbs). Zero-to-sixty times have been clocked at 12.6 seconds.
The CNG cylinder (fuel tank) is carried in the trunk of the car and holds 8.0 GGE (Gasoline Gallon Equivalent) at 3600 psi.
Range on a full 3600 psi fill is variable, depending on driving conditions and driving technique. While Honda claims an estimated 225–250 miles from a full CNG tank, independent tests have found a lower ranges, at 180–200 miles and "just over 200 miles" (about 300 km). For 2012 the EPA fuel economy increases with range increased to 225 ~ 250 miles. The EPA rates the 2009 Honda Civic GX at 24 equivalent MPG city and 36 equivalent MPG highway.Independent tests with mixed driving usage found rates of "nearly 32" and 26.8 equivalent MPG. The estimated fuel cost for this vehicle to drive 25 miles for a combination of city and highway driving is $1.47 using CNG The GX qualifies for HOV Lane access in California, Arizona, Utah, and other states.
Home refueling is available for the GX with the addition of the Phill Home Refueling Appliance. This unit attaches to a home or commercial natural gas source, and compresses the gas into the car's tank through an attached hose. The unit requires a 110V power source, and uses 800 watts when in operation.
For eight years in a row up to 2011, the Civic GX has been rated first in the "Greenest Vehicle of the Year" list elaborated by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. For 2011 The GX classified ahead of the two recently launched plug-in electric vehicles, the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt.In the 2012 list the GX was ranked second after the Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric car.
The 2012 Honda Civic GX was awarded the 2012 Green Car of the Year by the Green Car Journal in November 2011 at the Los Angeles Auto Show.