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Re: 2008 GX availability

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  • Re: 2008 GX availability

    Hello 86Jaguar / Bob,

    I have used Honda Civic GX and love it!! From my recent trip from Albany, NY to OK (yes, made 1,600 mile one-way trip in dedicated cng card), almost all of NY is monopoly by Clean Energy - - see recent topic on CngChat that depicts truth about Clean Energy - - - AVOID CE if you can!! However, the Alternative Fuels Data Center (Federal website of public and private cng sites) at:
    http://afdcmap2.nrel.gov/locator/FindPane.asp
    lists a public cng pump (that is NOT Clean Energy) in Syracuse at:
    CNYRTA - Centro, 200 Cortland Ave, Syracuse, NY 13202
    phone: 315-442-3323

    If I were you, I'd just stop by above location and learn all you can about cng. Apply for their cng fuel card a few weeks before you plan on buying a cng car. If you want to travel around NY in dedicated cng Civic GX, then you'll be forced to get Clean Energy fuel card - - or you could get used bi-fuel Chevy Cavalier that lets you drive anywhere (thus, when cng ran out would revert to normal gasoline). Actually I have both Honda Civic GX and a Chevy bi-fuel Cavalier so I have options.

    If you end up needing Clean Energy fuel card for rest of NY state, be prepared to cough up $100 lifetime deposit; see their website at:
    http://www.cleanenergyfuels.com/stations/newyork.html

    From my experience refueling cng from NY to UT, public cng pumps have different hoses and activation methods on pump itself, but all have basic one-way valve near car that must be turned on to let fuel into car, along with whatever is needed to process payment. I have never had fast-fill at public cng pump take more than a few minutes. I've filled both a Honda Civic GX with 8 gge tank and Chevy Cavalier bi-fuel with 6 gge tank.

    In general, it is better to add cng more frequently if you want to have as much driving range as possible (ie top off tank every couple days or quicker if you drive a lot); this is because cng heats up when rushing into tank with fast-fill. Thus, you can fill-up with cng one evening, and go the next morning (top off tank) and get almost another gge (gallon of gas equivalent) to completely fill cng tank. Your question about how you measure cng fuel, answer is gge. It is not measured in lbs like propane. The higher the pressure on public cng pump, the more cng fuel you will get; thus 2,500 psi would give you mediocre fill, while 3,000 psi fill would get you approx 85% fill, and 3,600 psi or higher would get you say 95% full tank of cng.

    If you have natural gas at your home, you also have option of home refueling of cng with a Fuelmaker cng compressor (called VRA - - vehicle refueling appliance - - Fuelmaker is only manufacturer in USA thus far). This is called slow-fill or also timed-fill and should result in full tank of cng. Small model is Phill which can go INSIDE your garage but it only fills at .5 gge per hour, and overall cost is quite high when you consider it only lasts 2,000 hours before head has to be rebuilt at high cost of $2,000 or so. I would instead recommend used C3 or FM4 model Fuelmaker that pumps about 1 gge an hour (watch Ebay or Craigslist, or ask around since you are near Canada); however, these only fill to 3,000 psi. Best model of Fuelmaker is fmq2-36 which is 3,600 psi and pumps at 1 gge an hour. Finding a used fmq2-36 will be quite tough as they are highly sought after; however it will be worth the effort if you get a bargain. These larger C3, FM4 or fmq2-36 models of Fuelmaker go OUTSIDE your garage and require 220 volt electricity and free-flowing natural gas line of 3/4 inch to 1 inch. Your overall home cng cost with a Fuelmaker fmq2-36 will likely be from $1.00/gge to $1.25/gge which includes all costs including ng, electricity & Fuelmaker cost over the long haul. Check for NY state tax incentives also as they might subsidize part of Fuelmaker purchase with tax credit. Federal (IRS) will subsidize $1,000 towards new purchase of Fuelmaker with a tax credit. Overall, you might not need home VRA if the local Syracuse public cng pump is close, reliable and not too expensive; however, some people even in Utah where cng is $0.64 per gge have their own Fuelmaker as a backup.

    As for driving range of cng cars, it depends on type of driving and how full you get the cng tank. In general Civic GX with stock 8 gge tank will have 200 to 280 mile range. Cavalier bi-fuel has cng range of 125 to 175 miles ; I actually got a record 205 miles on one 5.7 gge cng tank on NM highway while driving between string of truckers.

    I would HIGHLY recommend you pursue cng; even a used Honda might last 250,000 to 300,000 miles or more with no problem!! Dedicated cng is very clean to engine (can stretch oil changes to 15,000 miles to 20,000 miles) but keep transmission serviced as presribed. Lots of agencies in NY have fleets of cng cars, I would suggest you watch for state or city auctions of vehicles as many cng cars get purchased this way. Agencies blindly follow their "replace fleet cars after 3 or 4 year" policy so you might even get low mileage Civic GX or bi-fuel Cavalier. That's how I got mine in Georgia . . . $7,200 for 2003 Cavalier bi-fuel with only 35K miles!!! Also there are GSA auctions (Federal for govmt agencies like Post Office, IRS, etc) which is at:
    http://www.autoauctions.gsa.gov/index.cfm

    Go CNG !! Cleanest fuel on the planet (except for wind and solar).
    Last edited by cngacrossusa; 03-11-2008, 11:07 AM.
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