IMAGE: 2006 Honda Civic GX
Honda  /  Wieck
A 2006 Honda Civic GX sits next to a natural gas refueling appliance known as "Phill."
msnbc.com
updated 5/18/2006 11:04:09 AM ET 2006-05-18T15:04:09

Some drivers looking for fuel alternatives have another option beyond hybrids, ethanol and biodiesel: cleaner-burning natural gas.

Honda is slowly ramping up its natural gas powered Civic GX, on Tuesday announcing a redesigned 2006 model. It also plans to expand sales beyond California and into New York this fall.

California drivers have had access to the Civic GX since last year. Total volume for 2006 is expected to be between 500 and 1,000 vehicles.

Honda also offers a refueling appliance for the home, a $2,000 unit dubbed "Phill" by manufacturer FuelMaker Corp.

“Currently natural gas is approximately 30 percent less expensive than gasoline when purchased at a refueling station, and approximately 65 percent cheaper than gasoline when supplied by a Phill home refueling appliance,” Honda said in a statement.

Phill can be mounted to a garage wall, either indoors or outdoors, and refuels the GX over a few hours directly from any natural gas supply line, Honda said.

IMAGE: NATURAL GAS CAR
David Paul Morris  /  Getty Images file
The Sierra Club showed off this natural gas car during its first annual environmental convention last September in San Francisco, Calif.
The MSRP on the 2006 Civic GX is $24,440 and the Environmental Protection Agency estimates city/highway fuel economy to be the equivalent of 28/39 miles per gallon of gasoline.

Honda also noted that GX buyers are eligible for a federal tax credit of $4,000 for the car and up to $1,000 for Phill.

The 113-horsepower GX, Honda added, has been called the "cleanest internal combustion engine on Earth" by the EPA.

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