Washington PA Honda Dealer Starts Selling CNG Vehicles

Here come the compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles! At least in western PA:

Washington Honda plans to become the first Honda dealership in Western Pennsylvania to sell Civic sedans that run on compressed natural gas.

"With Washington County being a hub for Marcellus shale gas, we see this as an opportunity," said Gary Flannery, general manager of the South Strabane dealership, part of the Washington Auto Mall.

Flannery plans to market the Civic Natural Gas as a fleet vehicle for government agencies, utilities and other businesses looking to save money and switch to a cleaner-burning fuel.

Compressed natural gas, or CNG, has been selling for about $1.85 per gallon equivalent, versus an average price of $3.92 this week for gasoline in Western Pennsylvania.

Two technicians from Washington Honda will be trained next month to work on the car, and two sales people will be briefed on its features, he said.

Since it debuted in 1989, Honda’s natural gas-powered Civic has been the only passenger car in the nation made to run on the fuel. Gasoline-powered vehicles can be converted to run on natural gas.

Formerly known as the Civic GX, the car was redesigned for 2012 and renamed the Civic Natural Gas because that’s what customers called it anyway, Honda spokesman Chuck Schifsky said. It costs $26,155, compared with $20,505 for a regular Civic, and Honda is on track to double sales this year to 2,000 vehicles as interest in using natural gas as a transportation fuel grows, he said.*

*Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Mar 31, 2012) – Local Honda dealership to sell ‘green’ gas-burning Civic