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Yahoo Finance - Best Values in Clean Cars article/Tuesday, September 18, 2007

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  • Yahoo Finance - Best Values in Clean Cars article/Tuesday, September 18, 2007

    Here is an exerpt from the article:

    Super-green cars


    The cleanest internal-combustion vehicle on the road is a Honda Civic -- but it's not the Civic Hybrid. It's the Civic GX, which runs on natural gas. Driving a GX feels no different than driving any other compact; the only telltale sign is a trunk that's about half the size of the regular Civic's, to accommodate the greater volume of the natural gas tank.
    The Civic GX costs less than $700 a year to fuel up -- about half the cost of fueling its conventional sibling. You'll be hard-pressed to find natural gas at your neighborhood filling station; to fuel up, you have to buy or lease a natural-gas dispenser and tap into your local utility line or use one of the many public refueling stations. The home dispenser, called Phill, costs $3,200 to $4,000 (or $40 to $70 a month to lease, depending on local clean-energy incentives). Refueling at home can be done while you sleep, and your average driving range is about 250 miles or less.
    The Civic GX is available only in New York and California (check www.honda.com to locate dealers). It costs $25,185, or about $7,000 more than a gas-powered Civic LX and $2,000 more than a Civic Hybrid. But generous federal tax incentives, along with local and state incentives help bring down the cost significantly.

    After carmakers perfect plug-in rechargeable batteries for hybrids, expect to see more purely electric cars that go beyond golf-cart-like "neighborhood electric vehicles." At last fall's Los Angeles auto show, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger demonstrated one highway-worthy electric car that's available now to enthusiasts with deep pockets. The Tesla Roadster (www.teslamotors.com) is built by Lotus in Great Britain. The company says the two-seater can top 135 mph and travel 250 miles without recharging. Plus, it goes from zero to 60 mph in a breathtaking four seconds. The price: $99,000.
    One of Steinberg's superstar athletes could afford it. But is he ready to leave his big, bad Hummer in the garage?

    Copyrighted, Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc.
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