2012 Honda Civic Natural

I’m holding this funky thing that looks like some sort of roto-rooter toilet cleaner because this is the 2012 Honda Civic compressed natural gas and we’re going to show you how you fill this guy up so here into the hood of the Civic natural gas we get essentially the same 1.8 liter four-cylinder engine that the rest of the Civic lineup get but this engine is built from the factory for use with CNG which means it has hardened valves and hardened valve seats that’s really about the only change that they do to make this work with compressed natural gas the problem

with that is and because they haven’t changed anything else the power is reduced slightly from the regular Civic the regular Civic and the Civic HF produced 140 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque and this natural gas engine only produces a hundred and ten horsepower and a hundred and six pound-feet of torque here from the drivers perspective on the inside the Civic natural gas looks exactly

like a regular Civic so we get this dual level stir which is slightly funky but it is way more normal than a Prius where you have the gauges in the center over here on this side we get the radio and this is in this model this is Honda’s a usual navigation radio now the graphics unfortunately aren’t quite as nice as they are on that high resolution screen although they are pretty good they’re definitely better than older products like the Acura RL a fairly responsive system it also does XM traffic and of course you have full iPod and USB control it’s hard to tell in this video with the light but the dashboard is made of fairly hard plastic it is however textured fairly nicely now this has been one complaint

that I’ve heard over and over and over again on the Honda Civic and it’s one that I actually don’t quite understand because the Prius and the Prius C have very hard interior plastics and for some reason I don’t hear very many complaints about that this is pretty standard in the economy category so here in the back seat we have pretty much a standard Civic I mean there’s there’s no loss in practicality other than fact the rear seat doesn’t fold because of course the gas tank is right behind me in the rear seat we have adequate Headroom and adequate legroom

I’m 6 feet tall this front seats adjusted for me at 6 feet tall and I still have about 3 or 4 inches of legroom line so now the seat bottom cushion is a little bit low probably designed for shorter drivers or kids so that might be a little bit of a comfort issue for taller people on longer car trips but overall there’s nothing objectionable in the backseat at all look at that the downside is back here because that is all the trunk you actually get now to be perfectly honest in the commuter vehicle that’s more trunk than I actually need I only carry this roller bag with me because that’s all the beauty of video equipment I normally carry around and here’s just some other random stuff in the trunk but truthfully

I never carry anything else in my car so that actually would be fine for me you really couldn’t take a CNG vehicle for a family vacation for for away for very long because there’d be nowhere to put the luggage unless you packed really light now the refueling is quick gas stations can be a little bit tricky to find because they aren’t in your normal places so if you just exit a freeway you won’t expect to find a CNG station they will however seem to congregate around airports and industrial parks that’s where I’ve been finding most of mine and in this local area even the local school district offer it’s one as well as PG&E now compared to filling an electric vehicle which can take hours literally

I mean with the Nissan Leaf taking about seven hours to charge from empty it really only takes a few minutes to fill up the CNG Civic and we’ll go over that a little bit later in the video now another reason to deal with the natural gas and the travel of finding natural gas stations is this little sticker right here and this will stick there means that I get to drive all by myself in the carpool lane in California and that’s worth about a thirty minutes per day savings on my round trip to Burlingame that’s a definite score in my book now much like an electric vehicle you actually can fill your Civic CNG at home you can buy a fill station which takes your natural gas source from your household natural gas service compresses it and then pumps it into your Civic now this will course only works if you have natural gas service at home because

the CNG Civic will not run off of propane and there’s also an important thing to know about that and that’s that Honda would prefer you did not fill your Civic that way and there’s a reason for that they claim that home natural gas services can be a little bit impure they can be damp the humidity could be wrong with the natural gas if you don’t have the right dryers attached to it and if your natural gas is humid or damp then you can actually rust out the natural gas tank or certain portions of the engine and fuel system controls in the engine and thereby invalidate your civics warranty but if you do take that risk then refilling at home at California’s high natural gas rates would cost somewhere around a dollar

fifty per gasoline gallon equivalent which is incredibly cheap this looks like what you’d find in a normal Honda Civic however behind the cover we have a little dust cap and we have this really funky portal here now this is only one of two different kinds of filler nozzles that you can find in CNG stations the other one looks sort of like a cylinder and has a little knob on it and most importantly has two arrows so this took me awhile to figure out I hate to admit it actually but the way you use that to fill up the car is you match the arrows

they’re pointing together you plug it into the car and then you rotate it so that the arrows are both pointing towards the car that was a light bulb moment for me this one’s actually a little bit easier has this retractable cover here we just sort of popped the cover on and we turn this knob on the front from Phil from Vette to Phil so right now it’s on vent turn that to Phil and you can see now it’s actually connected to the car now of course we stick a credit card in the pump just like you would a normal gas pump however there’s something new in California because this is a compressed natural gas vehicle

if I haven’t used this station before and don’t have a secret code to enter here so I’ll touch in the box because I do have a code if I can remember it if you didn’t have the code you’d actually be forced to watch a video about how to fill up your

CNG vehicle so if you actually pay attention to the video then you’d know what to do so any moment here now you’ll begin to hear this thing filling there we go so we’ll get in close so you can hear the sound of it so as you can see if we come in on this screen here a little bit you’ll see that our price here in California land of almost $5 gallon gas is only two dollars and 16 cents per gallon for gasoline gallon equivalent and that’s an important term to remember when you’re talking about CNG vehicles since you aren’t actually getting a gallon of fuel

because CNG is delivered in gaseous form it doesn’t liquefy at atmospheric temperatures so I said you’re getting 3600 psi of natural gas in the tank and they sort of calculate that out to a gasoline gallon equivalent and that’s how they bill you if you have an older CNG vehicle there’s a 3,000 psi side over here as you can see but that will result in lower range in your Honda natural gas if you feel

from the 3600 psi side of the fuel pump the Civic natural gas will deliver between 2 and 300 miles per tank which is about what you’d actually get out of a regular Civic I mean it’s not that far off you get about 8 gallons equivalent and you still get about 40 miles per gallon on the highway if you treat the Civic gently so now that our fueling is done and as we can see on this gas pump 11 dollars and 27 cents is all it’s cost me to fill up this car we now have 300 miles worth of gas in the car to undo this all we do is switch this to vent and then we unplug doc

little connector back over here in the gas pump then we returned our dust cap close the door has taken about four minutes to fill up now economy cars really aren’t any good if they don’t actually save you any money and that’s where the Civic natural gas turns into an interesting proposition because it will actually save you money eventually so here’s how those numbers work out the annual fuel cost of this car expected to be about a thousand dollars and that’s here in California where CNG runs about two dollars and 16 to $2.99 per gasoline gallon equivalent and a civic

HF would cost you about nineteen hundred dollars and that’s for $4 20 cent gas again we’re here in Northern California where gas is expensive so over a 10-year term this car would actually be about two thousand dollars cheaper to operate than the Civic HF and it would be about the same price to operate as the Civic Hybrid but and here is the big butt this car would actually save me on my commute 108 hours of commuting

time a year so that means I’d be able to stay home four point five days more every year because of the carpool stickers and so what’s that worth to you over ten years that sport is that you’d get to stay home more than you would if you had a civic hybrid or a civic HF now of course that’s taking into account the fact that CNG stations are difficult to find they’re a little bit more out of the way and I would have to fill up more often in this car than I would in a gasoline-powered civic because the range is not quite as far and you’d have to fill up these gas stations that are slightly out of the width to just the gas station around the corner

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