American Honda offers $3,000 fuel for buyers of Civic CNG

Article by Anita Panait, on October 11, 2012

American Honda Motor Co. is hoping to entice customers to buy its compressed natural gas-powered Honda Civic by offering a $3,000 fuel card to buyers. Honda’s sales strategy comes as gasoline prices remain high in the United States, while alternative fuels like compressed natural gas, or CNG, are much cheaper.

Buyers of the Civic CNG will receive a fuel card loaded with $3,000 that could be used to purchase compressed natural gas at public refueling stations owned by Clean Energy Fuels Corp.

Currently, the Civic is the only compressed natural gas-powered vehicle available for sale to consumers in the US. Honda’s latest offer could be very tempting to the riding consumers in California, where the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is around $4.67, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

The prices of gasoline products in California soared after refineries experienced disruptions at a time when supplies are already low due to seasonal shift to new blends. In contrast, the national average for an equivalent gallon of compressed natural gas was just $2.05 in July, American Honda said, citing the most recent figures available from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Consumers have more reason to buy the Honda Civic CNG aside from low fuel costs, since the car is eligible for carpool-lane access in California, allowing them to avoid the clogged highways of greater Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Having a starting price of just around $27,000, the Civic CNG offers a driving range of up to 200 miles and refueling time of a few minutes. Proponents of compressed natural gas say that these attributes of Civic CNG, as well as the low price of compressed natural gas, give the vehicle an advantage over electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids, whose qualities include limited range, high cost and extended recharging time.

2013 Honda Civic has been modified extensively that calling it a mid-model refresh would be an understatement. This is because both the front and rear ends of the 2013 Honda Civic Sedan have been tweaked to sport a more premium and more youthful appearance. Some of the changes made include its new hood and trunk lid as well as new open-mouth lower bumper with a horizontal chrome accent. The new 2013 Honda Civic also features black honeycomb mesh grille. In Civic EX-L and above trims, this grille features new integrated fog lights. Flanking the grille are new clear-lens corner lights, as complemented by the Civic's taller, more deeply sculpted hood.

The rear end of the Civic, on the other hand, is provided with a new bumper design with integrated reflector treatments. It also features a new lower diffuser panel with a honeycomb mesh vent. In addition, the rear end of the new Honda Civic also comes with a new trunk lid with a horizontal chrome trim. Moreover, the rear lights now feature a jewel-like design, which is carried into the face of the trunk. Completing the exterior appearance of the new 2013 Honda Civic Coupe are its restyled wheels.

Since the body of the 2013 Honda Civic is made from 55 percent high-strength steel, its weight is reduced while its strength and rigidity are heightened. Honda also made several modifications into the front floor, A-pillar, side sill and upper wheel housing as well as front bumper extension. Using high-strength steel should further refine the attributes of the 2013 Civic while providing a stiffer structure for several chassis updates. More importantly, this stronger structure made from high-strength steel could help the new 2013 Civic get a high score on the small overlap crash test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Topics: honda, honda civic, sales

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