Honda Launches Fit EV, But Civic GX Takes Green Car Prize

Alex L. Dykes
by Alex L. Dykes

Between the tsunamis, floods, and poorly-received Civic, Honda has had a rough 2011. But the brand is hoping to put all that behind it by emphasizing its environmentally-friendly product portfolio, announcing a Fit EV which will be made available in California, Oregon and six east coast markets next summer. Unlike Nissan, however, Honda isn’t actually selling the electric commuter cars, but is offering them at a $399/month lease rate. And no wonder: Honda only expects 1,000 of these Fit EVs to find homes over the next three years, probably due at least in part to its north-of-$36k price point. Which may be why the natural gas-powered Civic GX just won the Green Car Of The Year award for Honda. It may not be as radical or purely “green” as a pure EV, but it can sell in volume… in fact, Wards Auto [sub] just reported that Honda is bumping production of the CNG Civic in order to catch up with demand. At a time when Honda is desperate for some good news (and nobody is losing their mind over the new CR-V), a little publicity for one of Honda’s most unique and under-marketed vehicles probably feels like manna from heaven…

Alex L. Dykes
Alex L. Dykes

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  • Acuraandy Acuraandy on Nov 17, 2011

    I dunno, guys, CNG seems to work for the Australians, and they are much more sparsely populated than the US. I remember as a young boy a certain municipality in the Twin Cities had a city-owned CNG pump in my neighborhood that regular citizens could buy CNG from (by contract, and thus, paid by a monthly assessment and/or bill) for equivalent of $.69/gal. Of course, this was in about 1989, and sort of went by the wayside after the first Gulf War (remember $.89 to $1.09/gal for 93 octane? I DO, thanks Bush 41!). In a world of hydraulic frakking in ND and MT bringing the price of CNG down precipitously (compared to gasoline/diesel), I would'nt be surprised if these starting popping up occasionally from automakers other than Honda.

  • Michal Michal on Nov 20, 2011

    Australians use LPG (propane/butane) not CNG, which is still very rare and only a handful of buses and fleet vehicles use it. Even with a much cheaper LPG price (55c/L versus $1.40/L for petrol) the local LPG industry is slowly dying. People are apathetic about saving quite a large amount of money when the payback period on installation costs is usually a couple years or more away. Government subsidies for the LPG installation industry are falling away as well. I believe India and Pakistan are the leading CNG vehicle users. When I visited India most of the three wheeler taxis used CNG while the rest were LPG.

  • ToolGuy "Note that those vehicles are in direct competition with models Rivian sells"• I predict that we are about to hear why this statement may not be exactly true
  • ToolGuy From the relevant Haynes Repair Manual:"Caution: The 4.6L models require a special tool to extract the water pump from the coolant crossover housing. This special tool is expensive and the removal procedure is difficult. Have the water pump replaced by a dealer service department or other qualified automotive repair facility if the tool is not available."One version of the tool is Lisle 14440; I paid $10.82 (less 5% discount, plus shipping).You can see why I never attempt my own maintenance or repairs. 😉
  • Dave M. IMO this was the last of the solidly built MBs. Yes, they had the environmentally friendly disintegrating wiring harness, but besides that the mechanicals are pretty solid. I just bought my "forever" car (last new daily driver that'll ease me into retirement), but a 2015-16 E Class sedan is on my bucket list for future purchase. Beautiful design....
  • Rochester After years of self-driving being in the news, I still don't understand the psychology behind it. Not only don't I want this, but I find the idea absurd.
  • Douglas This timeframe of Mercedes has the self-disintegrating engine wiring harness. Not just the W124, but all of them from the early 90's. Only way to properly fix it is to replace it, which I understand to be difficult to find a new one/do it/pay for. Maybe others have actual experience with doing so and can give better hope. On top of that, it's a NH car with "a little bit of rust", which means to about anyone else in the USA it is probably the rustiest W124 they have ever seen. This is probably a $3000 car on a good day.