One Man’s Thoughts on Natural Gas Vehicle Ownership

If you're in many parts of Oklahoma, where compressed natural gas refueling is relatively plentiful and natural gas vehicle incentives are robust, it's likely that you've already at least thought about purchasing an NGV.

Richard Hall, an editor and blog writer for major Oklahoma City media outlets NewsOK and The Oklahoman, recently bought his own CNG-powered Honda Civic GX. Hall has been driving it for a month, and he took to the blogosphere this week to share ‘3 things I've learned from owning my first CNG vehicle.’

His blog is available in full HERE, but the following are his three main findings:

1. You have to spend some extra money to save some money (in the long run)

‘When the incentives and rebates are applied, the cost difference between a gas-powered and CNG-powered vehicle shrinks considerably. Still, the initial up-front costs remain, which might turn off some car buyers,’ Hall writes. ‘But if you're a serious commuter, then you would break even in as little as a couple of years.’

2. Getting where you need to go can be iffy (but plan ahead and you'll be OK)

The blogger notes that when you're an NGV driver, you can't rely on ‘a fueling station at every exit on our nation's Interstate system.’ Even in Oklahoma – which is currently a national model for strong CNG refueling infrastructure – there are many pockets of CNG-less roadways.

However, Hall points out that ‘If you plan it out well, you can get to (almost) anywhere you might want to go.’

3. Going CNG means giving up some things (which shouldn't be a deal breaker)

What did Hall have to give up when he bought his Civic NGV? Trunk space and some driving range were among the drawbacks – and that's about it. He mentioned that the engine in the GX isn't too powerful, but neither is the engine in the gasoline-powered Civic.

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