CNG Booster Slates Honda For Civic GX Production

Richard Chen
by Richard Chen
cng booster slates honda for civic gx production

Pssst. Wanna buy a $25K Honda Civic with a 220-mile driving range and the trunk space of a Miata? Me niether. Since its introduction over a decade ago, the Honda Civic GX has sold between 500 – 1000 per year; production has just been boosted to a mere 1500 p.a. The Civic Hybrid sells more than double that every month. Honda cites parts shortage as a bottleneck, primarily the greenest Civic’s lightweight and costly carbon fiber fuel tank. The Cutting Edge News’ Edwin Black isn’t satisfied with that explanation. In fact, Black claims a conspiracy to suppress production of the GX. Citing the inability of the Spokane, WA school system to secure a fleet of CNG-mobiles, Black chides Honda for milking maximum PR mileage on a car they CLEARLY don’t give a damn about. Even worse (for hardly anyone), the Civic GX is going out of production until June 2009 while production is moving to Honda’s new Indiana plant. Black contrasts this green conspiracy to GM’s promise to manufacture and sell as many hundreds of thousands of Volts and other electrified vehicles to as many as it can as quickly as it can at the best price that it can.” So why isn’t Black giving GM (and Ford) a hard time for discontinuing their CNG vehicles a few years back?

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  • Shaker Shaker on Sep 29, 2008

    Whoa, boyz -- Your cargo area is smaller yet with the CNG tank and battery pack... Of course, if you can drive by a gas station in Tennesee in which people are fighting over "juice", that could make up for it.

  • John Horner John Horner on Sep 29, 2008

    The criticism of Honda on this score makes no sense. Everyone else bailed out of the factory built CNG car market all together and Honda has maintained a low volume toe hold in it. For this they are to be pilloried? Honda only sells this vehicle in a few areas where they have a support network and trained dealers in place. Sure, this isn't ideal ... but nobody else is offering anything CNG! The Cutting Edge is barking up the wrong tree here.

  • Synack Synack on Sep 29, 2008

    If this car was offered in a manual and had a range of 400 miles I would have already bought one. I don't need trunk space to get to work. I don't understand why the U.S. has ignored CNG for so long?! Having the car full of gas every morning (via PHILL) and never having to hit a gas station would be a huge time saver and well worth it.

  • Richard Chen Richard Chen on Sep 29, 2008

    @Syn-Ack: it's a chicken and egg situation revolving around the the fact that compression is costly. Phill costs $4K before the $1K tax credit, and pumps that can deliver CNG faster probably cost a lot more, not including the cost of electricity. Even at the current standard of 3600psi, there's only so much CNG that can be stuffed in a tank, which limits range. A larger aftermarket tank would get your desired range, likely at the cost of the Civic's back seat. Two states, UT and OK, passed laws last year capping the price of CNG to a small cost above extraction. The market for used CNG vehicles has heated up: a decade-old Cavalier is in the high 4 figures. Thanks to increased demand, the pump supply isn't always enough to completely fill a tank.