Honda Civic CNG

In wake of California gas price spike, Honda promotes natural gas vehicles

Catching the wave of California's spike in gasoline prices, Honda is promoting the Honda Civic CNG with $3,000 worth of free fuel.

(Honda - 10/09/2012 - Torrance, Calif.) Gasoline prices in California have jumped dramatically this month with the average price state-wide reaching $4.66 per gallon and prices over $6 per gallon reported in some places. Interest in alternatively fueled vehicles always rises when the gasoline price rises. The gasoline price spike may be a good thing for electric vehicle adoption, and some electric vehicle advocates do pray for high gasoline prices to spur EV adoption. In the midst of these high prices, Honda has proposed a different tactic. Instead of electric vehicle adoption, the company is using the occasion to promote its compressed natural gas Civic, the only CNG car on sale in North America.

Some alternate fuels have more stable prices than gasoline prices. The price for electricity and natural gas is primarily set by utility commissions rather than a manipulable supposedly free market. Electric vehicle owners, like this writer, could be blissfully unaware of the occasional wild swings in gasoline prices. Additionally both electricity and natural gas are cheaper fuels than gasoline, most of the time. Last winter we calculated the electric car cost per gallon equivalent to be between $0.75 to $1.05 per gallon, if the electric car is charged at home, at the national average of $0.11 per kilowatt-hour. Honda claims the national average for compressed natural gas refueling in July was $2.05 per equivalent gasoline gallon.

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