Running an alternative car may finally pay for itself. In the past, hybrid cars have not paid for their premium prices in saved gasoline costs. Tax credits may help change this situation when it comes to the natural-gas powered Honda Civic GX. American Honda Motor Inc. has tagged its newly designed 2006 Honda Civic GX at a cost-friendly $24,440. The car achieves an EPA-estimated city/highway fuel economy of 28/39 miles per gasoline equivalent. Currently, natural gas is approximately 30 percent less expensive than gas when purchased at a refueling station, and approximately 65 percent cheaper than gas when supplied by a Phill home refueling appliance.
To further drive down the costs of ownership, owners of the Civic GX will be eligible for a Federal tax credit of $4,000 for the car and up to $1,000 for the purchase and installation of a Phill home-based refueling station. The ultra-clean GX is eligible for tax credits because it produces near-zero emissions.
Californiaís plan to mandate an electric vehicle market isnít the first such undertaking and certainly wonít be the last. But as the Golden State ratchets up for its next big step toward zero-emission vehicle status in 2018, it might be wise to consider a bit of history.