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  • A few questions

    I've began to consider a Civic GX as a viable alternative to a hybrid because right now it seems like there is no competition for the Prius, so you end up having to pay some insane prices for leasing, and it seems like the Prius drives poorly in snow. I should probably mention I live in LA, here are my questions:

    1) Can you lease a Civic GX? If so what's the average cost? I only want to lease because in 3 years time I will be heading off to a university but I don't know where that'll be.

    2) What will the infrastructure look like in the next few years? I see that it wouldn't be possible currently to do my favorite road trip of LA to Chicago. It also looks as if I can't drive to Mammoth currently from LA

    3) I know with gas you can grab one of those red plastic tanks just in case you won't be near a gas station, can you do something similar with CNG?

    4) It seems like you need special cards for refilling at many CNG stations, is there a master list of all the forms & stations that require this?

    5) For those who drive in LA traffic, what is your average MPG?

    6) It looks like one needs to be trained or approved to fuel their own car at CNG stations, how do you go about this? What is so different about fueling you car with CNG instead of gas that requires this? How do you know when the fueling is finished?

    Edit:
    7) I see lots of stuff about 3000psi, 3600psi, etc. at fueling station, does this matter or can any of these be used?

    Thanks for your time!
    Last edited by ieko; 05-29-2008, 11:16 PM.

  • #2
    A few answers

    1) Curtis chime in here, he will know
    2) Infrastructure is growing, but not in a direction for our needs to travel across the country. There are definite cities that need stations, such as Flagstaff, Blythe, Needles/or Laughlin, list can go on.
    3) Get AAA+
    4) So Cal you are lucky most stations take regular credit cards, If you go north you need a PG&E card for most stations. Las Vegas will be taking regular credit cards soon.
    5) I get about 36mpg overall mostly highway with my older GX.
    6) CNG fueling is simple and easy, once you do it a few times you will actually enjoy filling up! You always fill the tank completely, and most pumps shut off or give you some kind of indication that you are done.
    Good luck finding a GX!
    BLUE 09 GX

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: A few answers

      1) Can you lease a Civic GX? If so what's the average cost? I only want to lease because in 3 years time I will be heading off to a university but I don't know where that'll be.

      Leases, like purchases, will range widely depending on credit, term, trade, down, etc. You should have your options outlined by the dealer at the time of purchase given your specific circumstances. You should purchase though. In 3 years no one will be able to afford gasoline any longer and cng may be the one thing that keeps you in school.

      2) What will the infrastructure look like in the next few years? I see that it wouldn't be possible currently to do my favorite road trip of LA to Chicago. It also looks as if I can't drive to Mammoth currently from LA

      Infrastructure is growing at the fastest pace in the history of the country. John makes a valid point. There may not be enough stations to get everywhere you want to drive, but with the money you save on gasoline, you can afford to rent a car for special trips and have money left for lift tickets.

      3) I know with gas you can grab one of those red plastic tanks just in case you won't be near a gas station, can you do something similar with CNG?

      The vast majority of ngv owners carry AAA+. There really isn't roadside assistance to bring you gas... just bring you to the gas. I don't recall ever hearing of anyone ever running out of gas, not that it hasn't happened, but ngv'ers are more aware of their odometer and gas guage than most and would have to do it intentionally... and yes, I have read where some of these ever curious number crunchers have done it intentionally just to see how far they could go... what was left once the low fuel light came on... or whatever reasoning led them to this act.

      4) It seems like you need special cards for refilling at many CNG stations, is there a master list of all the forms & stations that require this?

      John covered this pretty well. It's getting better. Most places are converting over to Visa/MC as time goes by and new stations open up.

      5) For those who drive in LA traffic, what is your average MPG?

      My driving average is around 34-38mpg... because I stay out of LA traffic.

      6) It looks like one needs to be trained or approved to fuel their own car at CNG stations, how do you go about this? What is so different about fueling you car with CNG instead of gas that requires this? How do you know when the fueling is finished?

      Stations have "Training Posts" that give a short training on how to use the equipment. I love refueling... there's no gasoline involved and I can smile when I pass the corner gas station, regardless of price.

      Edit:
      7) I see lots of stuff about 3000psi, 3600psi, etc. at fueling station, does this matter or can any of these be used.

      Ford started with 3000 psi vehicles back in the day, but everything since 1982 is adapted to the newer 3600 psi standard. A new car can refuel at either. The older american vehicles must use 3000psi.
      Some of the older stations were erected to handle their own fleets and may still have 3000psi pumps, as in Utah. All new stations usually offer either.
      [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_4586_1441434431016_578[/ATTACH]

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      • #4
        Re: A few answers

        Leasing is just purchasing without 'paying off' the car while you make your payments. And if you go over the allowed miles, yeeouch! Buy!

        Prices for used CNG vehicles have shot up, too. New GXs are sold out and the 09s coming in the fall are selling fast.

        Yes, GX isn't good for road trips and Mammoth. I just bought a Cavalier which would be fine for those trips (CNG/Gasoline, 450 mile range!). We kept our old van for road trips and hauling -- more than paid for by CNG savings.

        No spare tanks for CNG. We have AAA+

        Clean Energy plays you a 1 minute video at the station. PGE requires a 'training session.' You need to pay, attach the nozzle, wait, put the nozzle back. Sound a little like gasoline? There are 3-4 kinds of nozzles and they're a little tricky the first time you use each one. Also, some have a manual vent valve which you have to turn or you won't be able to take the nozzle off. So simple ONLY a child can do it
        02 GX
        01 GX
        03 Crown Vic
        06 GX
        Home Fueler

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: A few answers

          Originally posted by Curtis View Post
          ... I don't recall ever hearing of anyone ever running out of gas, not that it hasn't happened, but ngv'ers are more aware of their odometer and gas guage than most and would have to do it intentionally... [/B]
          I'm embarrassed, but must admit that early on in the life of our 2000 GX, I managed to run out of gas about a mile from home (218 mi after filling from a FM-2 at home). Yes, the low fuel light was on (for MANY miles); I had convinced myself that the analog fuel gauge had been lower at least once in the past. In this case I didn't have AAA, but was close enough to home to get towed with a nylon rope (no, that's not a smart way to tow a vehicle either). Funny thing, I haven't felt the need to push the range since then...
          2008 GX (extended range, trunkless version)
          Polished Metal Metallic 2012 Civic Natural Gas
          Fuelmaker FMQ-2-36 (since 2001)
          Previously owned: 2000 GX (11 years), 1995 Bi-fuel Sonoma, 2000 Bifuel Tahoe, 2000 Bi-fuel F150

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: A few answers

            It doesn't have to be embarassing. My wife went to a station with 'plenty' of gas left (ok, low, but the light wasn't on yet I don't think). The power was out at the station, so no gas. She looked in the CNGVC Guide for the nearest station, and went there, but the station wasn't there any more. She went to a third station and it wouldn't accept her credit card. On the way to the 4th station, she ran out of CNG. The AAA towed her to 2 or 3 more before they found one that was working.
            02 GX
            01 GX
            03 Crown Vic
            06 GX
            Home Fueler

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: A few questions

              Thanks for the replys, I have a few more questions.

              1) Do tax incentives still apply when leasing?

              2) Will 2009 GX have a GPS option?

              3) Are there any resources that map out the future expansion of CNG fueling stations? Or any news about it in general?

              I'll be needing to compare the civic hybrid and gx versions as far as price goes. Another reason I'm only interested in leasing is because I expect by the end of my lease there will be many more options for energy effecient cars.
              I also have concerns about the value of a GX when the time would come to sell it if I were to buy one, and the effort it would take to sell one.
              Last edited by ieko; 05-30-2008, 08:31 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: A few questions

                1. I think so.
                2. No factory options. The dealer or a good stereo shop can set you up.
                3. no
                buy/lease/hybrid: Leasing is more expensive than buying. Leasing protects you against the price being lower but also (these days) keeps you from benefiting if the price at the end of the lease is more than expected. I would be worried about the latter. Leasing companies tend to underestimate the end of lease resale value of weird cars (when they'll lease them at all) making the payments higher. And selling NGVs these days is easy -- just list them on eBay. You get top dollar from a nationwide market of enthusiasts. Not the case when I went searching for GXs 4-5 years ago!

                The main advantage of leasing is if you can deduct the lease payments as a business expense. It rarely makes economic sense for personal transportation unless you just want a low monthly payment and aren't as concerned with the total cost of ownership.

                don't get me started on hybrid-mania
                02 GX
                01 GX
                03 Crown Vic
                06 GX
                Home Fueler

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: A few questions

                  Why so negative?
                  1) I think NOT, just buy one, your dad will figure out it is the best move
                  2) How would know this? Curtis will know B4 anyone else
                  3) YES go to www.greencarcongress.com and www.ngvglobal.com and www.cngprices.com
                  There is hope for NGVs
                  Last edited by jetboatjohnny; 05-31-2008, 08:14 PM.
                  BLUE 09 GX

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: A few questions

                    Watch the language, 'J'!

                    1) tax credits/incentives are tricky when leasing. sometimes the leasing company want them, sometimes they don't, sometimes they can pass them on, sometimes they can't.

                    2) Curtis already knows what's available for 2009 -- he's about to order them. I believe the only choice he has is color, and he has to decide that now for the next year. Curtis, am I wrong? And, what's the big deal if you have to add GPS or DVD later (for a lot less money than Honda would have charged)?

                    3) I was responding to his question about a map of CNG station expansion plans. Only the station builders and their customers know that and the news isn't getting out. I have followed this closely for 4 years and didn't know there was a station being built 2 miles from my house!

                    The first two links you gave are great for news on new stations in China, India, and South America. The third link shows stations that are already open, not those being built.

                    The 'general information on CNG' source answer is clear -- HERE!
                    02 GX
                    01 GX
                    03 Crown Vic
                    06 GX
                    Home Fueler

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: A few questions

                      Thanks for the replys, I have a few more questions.

                      1) Do tax incentives still apply when leasing?
                      Michael summed it up fairly well. My suggestion would be to speak to your tax professional regarding how the tax incentive would benefit you. With leases, the leasing co is the legal owner and would generally be the one claiming the tax credit. I would really suggest, as others already have, that buying is the best option. The car leases rather poorly, just like hybrids, because the banks are unfamiliar with them. If they were, this would change, particularly in the current environment.

                      2) Will 2009 GX have a GPS option?
                      Aftermarket is your only option, at least until 2011, when we'll see the new Civic. No word on the car from official sources (or unofficial one's) as to the design changes. I am looking at the possibility that tank capacity will increase, and possibly be moved out of the trunk. Only time will tell.

                      3) Are there any resources that map out the future expansion of CNG fueling stations? Or any news about it in general?
                      As I've said before, if something new comes available, you'll hear about it here first. The only thing limiting infrastructure growth right now is the lack of companies that can build them. There are more stations awaiting construction than at any time in the history of this country. Last I heard, there were 50 in the works and I know more contracts have been awarded since.

                      I'll be needing to compare the civic hybrid and gx versions as far as price goes.
                      The GX is cheaper to operate (per mile) than any hybrid and with current incentives, home refueling, and HOV access, worth far more and costing less as well. Besides, resale sucks on hybrids. No one wants to be the second owner and get stuck with a $4000 battery pack replacement.

                      Another reason I'm only interested in leasing is because I expect by the end of my lease there will be many more options for energy effecient cars.
                      You'll have a decade before there are any real contenders on the market, be it electric, or hydrogen. I know, I know several new hybrids are coming, including the cheapest hybrid on the market (formerly known as the Sport Hybrid Concept) from Honda, the CR-V and Fit variant. A few other non-OEM vehicles will hit over the next few years as well, mostly electrics. Problem is battery technology still isn't where it needs to be for this market to explode and produce enough cars to have much effect. (I know I'm gonna hear about this one.)

                      I also have concerns about the value of a GX when the time would come to sell it if I were to buy one, and the effort it would take to sell one.
                      Mike said it, resale on a GX is better than on any car in the marketplace right now (thank you, Utah>)
                      [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_4586_1441434431016_578[/ATTACH]

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                      • #12
                        Re: A few questions

                        ...I am looking at the possibility that tank capacity will increase, and possibly be moved out of the trunk. Only time will tell...
                        Are you talking about the 2009 model here? Greater range would be a very big plus to me.

                        ...
                        Mike said it, resale on a GX is better than on any car in the marketplace right now (thank you, Utah>)
                        This is because Utah subsidizes their fuel right? Does anyone know how long those subsidies will last?
                        Last edited by ieko; 06-03-2008, 07:23 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: A few questions

                          Originally posted by ieko View Post
                          Are you talking about the 2009 model here? Greater range would be a very big plus to me.

                          This is because Utah subsidizes their fuel right? Does anyone know how long those subsidies will last?
                          I sent an e-mail to Robin Erickson at www.UtahCleanCities.org concerning the rumors of Questar selling their pumps to a private company. Here is the response that I received:

                          Thank you for you email today.

                          There have been rumors about Questar selling their CNG pumps. None of the rumors are confirmed. I have talked to Questar on many occasions with each rumor. But, again nothing is confirmed.

                          I do believe the price of the CNG should go up to about $1.25 a gallon.
                          There is some maintenance/updating of CNG equipment that should be done at the sites. If, the price were to raise that would give some money to do the maintenance on the equipment.

                          Our hope and dream would be to add more refueling sites and the only way we can do that is to raise the price of the CNG. Not like other states where corporations have come it, high prices, closed down stations, etc.

                          When I was the fleet manager for NAC, we paid $1.00 a gallon for cng when the gas price was $2.50 and still had a good pay back let alone the air quality benefits and our dependency on foreign oil.

                          We are having many calls with Questar. They are a member of Utah Clean Cities and are working closely with us.

                          If you are interested, in being a member of Utah Clean Cities we would love to have you. You can help carry the message with us.

                          What is nice about Questar is their concerns of pricing. The Public Service Commission regulates the price. There has been talk but maybe after the summer. If I hear, I will let you know.

                          I will send you an invitation to join. I have a CNG user group which consist of the grass roots people, users of cng, providers and suppliers.

                          Randy Lieber and Lee Schuster as individuals have done great things.
                          Randy was on the radio with me and Lee held a meeting of cng knowledge.
                          It was great.

                          My next goal is training the new people who want to do conversions before someone gets hurt. That is scheduled for July.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: A few questions

                            Originally posted by ieko View Post
                            Are you talking about the 2009 model here? Greater range would be a very big plus to me.
                            Honda is working to reduce the incremental cost of the conversion for the 2011 remake. 2009 will see no such changes.
                            [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_4586_1441434431016_578[/ATTACH]

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                            • #15
                              Radio Frequency ID(RFID) based Safety/ Security System for CNG filling

                              hi dheeraj here

                              anybody having knowledge about the Radio Frequency ID(RFID) based Safety/ Security System
                              please pass the same .

                              regards
                              dheeraj
                              DT

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