Reduce Carbon Emissions with an SLEV Vehicle.

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner BRE# 01325597

I purchased a Honda NGV (compressed natural gas)  Super Low Emissions Vehicle http://automobiles.honda.com/civic-gx/ in June 2007 in order to lower my carbon footprint.  As a Realtor I usually average 1200 to 1500 miles of driving per month.   I now have PHIL, home refueling unit, installed in my garage. 

I've discovered  this car is very economical to operate. The convenience of being able to refuel at home combined with the cost savings makes this car well worth the investment. 

Using PHIL http://www.myphill.com/, which fills the tank at a higher compression than the local Natural Gas Utility filling station, the car goes for 230+ miles (instead of 140 miles) before the refueling light goes on. This has eliminated a great deal of the anxiety that I used to have about running out of gas. 

On longer trips where refueling remotely is needed, its important to plan and know the location of more than one accessible refueling station ... just in case.  I have found that refueling equipment at stations in other parts of the state are not standardized and operating them is not always straightforward.  Also some refueling stations don't take standard credit cards, or even cash. 

I was skeptical that the cost savings would pan out, but my actual fuel costs are running more than 50% less than the cost of my previous vehicle.

The biggest drawbacks to this vehicle are the trunk size and traction on dirt/gravel roads, but, like using alternative energy, I've learned to live with it.  This is truly a clean, convenient, and cost effective car for short to moderate length trips. 

Comments (9)

Anonymous
Anonymous
Here is the issue I have...the Japan is committing economic war on our country...so I see little reason to go out and buy a vehicle from a Country that wishes us economic harm.
Feb 22, 2008 06:11 AM
#1
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY
The US needs to catch up on this one.  We have a critical energy problem and global warming problem that makes what you are doing very important. Around here TRACTION is important....I'm sitting inside deciding when to head out with the shovel again - we have about 9 inches of the white stuff on the ground!  I think CHINA and INDIA are more problematic than Japan right now.  The US auto industry is a disaster. 
Feb 22, 2008 06:31 AM
Jennifer Esposito
JenRan Realty, LLC - Woodstock, CT
Sounds like it really meets your needs.  I don't do a whole lot of driving and when I do its nearly impossible to avoid unpaved roads. 
Feb 22, 2008 06:41 AM
Terry Haugen STAGE it RIGHT! 321-956-2495
Stage it Right! - Melbourne, FL
I didnt know those cars even existed.  I've been eagerly anticipating news of the soon to come "compressed air" vehicles and not paying attention to much else.  I also have a Honda, and Element which is a LEV, so I'm on the right track!
Feb 22, 2008 07:07 AM
Cindy Brandon
Santa Rosa, CA
CDPE, EcoBroker, GRI, CRS, ePro

For most PG&E customers, installing  Phill refueling unit, can lower the rate charged by PG&E for your home gas bill.  There's also up to $1000 federal tax credit for taxpayers that have an approved alternative energy refueling unit in their home.  The government also has tax credits for clean air/alternative energy vehicles up to $25,000 depending on the type/size of vehicle.  Some counties in California (not Sonoma) are offering rebates $2000 + to consumers that purchase these vehicles.

I understand that its possible to convert existing vehicles to natural gas.  The clean air representative from PG&E that I spoke with says that conversions are much more prevelant on the east coast.  I don't know if converted vehicles qualify for tax credits and rebates.

Feb 22, 2008 10:52 AM
Jimmy McCall
JimmyMcCall.com - Cunningham, TN
The Ex-Mortgage Consultant
Cindy, Welcome to Active Rain and congratulations on your first blog.  I recommend you read and comment on 10 blogs per day to get the most from AR.
Feb 23, 2008 06:02 AM
Alex Mordas
EarthSTEPS - Tallahassee, FL
Green Building Consultant

Cindy, 

That is so great you are using this, and loving it! So many of us EcoBroker's are now purchasing hybrid, or green vehicles of some sort. I would love to get something different myself at some point - i'm currently driving a Honda CRV that i purchased for my past career. It was perfect for what i needed (i drove from Tucson, AZ to the Panama Canal in it - talk about carbon footprint...). however, as an urban vehicle, it's not so great. 

Do you find that the fuel savings balance out the increased payments on it? 

Feb 23, 2008 06:03 AM
Cindy Brandon
Santa Rosa, CA
CDPE, EcoBroker, GRI, CRS, ePro
Hi Alex, Yes, definately.  My calculation is that the fuel savings and tax credits will cause the additional investment to breakeven in less than 2 years.  
Feb 23, 2008 08:09 AM
Don McCoy
John L. Scott Real Estate - Medford, OR
Southern Oregon EcoBroker for John L. Scott R E

I am excited about your new Honda NGV , Cindy.

I wish the US was more proactive then it is. I believe we are behind this energy curve compared to other countrys. We must get free enterprise working in the right direction with electric cars as well and give the (other) gas companies a run for their money.

Feb 24, 2008 02:35 PM