Buying An Alternative Fuel Car – Honda Civic GX versus Toyota Prius

     Buying Alternative Fuel Cars these days can give anyone information overload. The companies that are selling cars will not always be the best source of information. Does the high mileage Toyota Prius blow the doors off the lowest carbon emitting car, the Natural Gas Honda GX? We will see here.
     The new natural gas powered Honda GX uses domestically made fuel. It is the same stuff you hook your barbeque up to. The best part about natural gas is that is one half the price of gasoline. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy calls the Civic GX the cleanest burning internal combustion engine vehicle on the planet. In other words it’s the Greenest Car in the world according to the ACEEE.

What Are Some Of The Pros And Cons Of The Honda Civic GX?
     What is there not to like about having the cleanest burning internal combustion engine vehicle on the planet? It would be hard to not be smug. Well, the Civic GX does have a few drawbacks. The first would be that there are only limited amount of fueling stations nationwide. California has the most with over 250 statewide. That does not do me any good in Arizona. In my state there are only about 14 places that I could top off my Honda civic natural gas car. I did check with a station that is close to me and the price was $2.25 a gallon as opposed to $4.17 for gasoline.

     To solve this fill up problem you could have The Phill installed at your home. The Phill allows you to fuel your car in your own garage. It takes about 16 hours to fully fill up your car. The range of the car is only about 240 miles as it only has an 8 gallon tank. It is basically just a commuter car. The only way to go on the highway is to plan out filling stations along the way or get a larger tank installed.
     For most daily drivers, the Honda GX will have plenty of range to get you where you need to go. CNG or compressed natural gas fuel is actually less volatile than traditional gasoline. You do not need to worry about exploding as you go down the road. I also like the idea of always having a fuel source in my garage. The future supplies of crude oil and gasoline could be shaky as emerging nations China and India gobble up additional limited oil reserves.

What Are Some Of The Pros And Cons Of The Toyota Prius?
     The Toyota Prius Hybrid is a lot of technology for a very low price. With gas at over $4 a gallon, having a car that gets nearly 50 miles per gallon is very appealing. Unlike the Civic GX, the Prius runs on plain old gasoline. You can get it on every corner. The Prius combines a traditional internal combustion motor with an electric motor for propulsion. The braking system is regenerative in that is uses motor generators which convert energy from the braking action of the car into electrical energy that is then stored in the car’s battery for later use.
     The other smart thing that I like about the Prius is that when it stops it shuts off the gas motor. This makes complete sense, why would you want to keep your car running when it is not moving. All it does is burn precious gasoline when you are idling. If you are running your air conditioner in the Prius, it will run off of the battery when the car is not moving. The engine comes on only if the car is sitting too long and runs the battery down.

The Winner Of The Toyota Prius And Honda Civic GX Challenge
     My conclusion is that they are both great cars. I think the Prius might be more practical in terms of fueling and convenience but the Honda GX is hands down a cleaner car for the environment. Natural Gas is also a great option to get us off of foreign oil. These are interesting times and it will be interesting to see what new technology will be coming out to deal with our current fuel crisis.