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Old 27th September 2010, 19:38   #1
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Default Should Honda offer the Civic CNG in India?

For those of us who are unaware that HONDA actually manufactures a Factory fitted CNG vehicle, this may seem bizarre.

The Civic GX as its called in the US, comes factory fitted with a CNG tank and a small petroleum reserve.

I would think that Honda India would want to revive sales of its once successful premium sedan, especially since its main competitors (Toyota, Suzuki) already offer CNG options on most of their petrol models.

Honda would have the unique advantage of manufacturing expertise at the factory and not have to rely on an 3rd party aftermarket CNG supplier like MIDA, which is what Toyota is doing. Even the mighty Maruti Suzuki have come around to realize the benefits of OEM CNG vehicle production!

Like it or not, in the wake of rising fuel prices and diminishing crude supplies, CNG would seem most likely to be India's fuel for the coming decade
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Old 28th September 2010, 00:04   #2
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CNG is fossil fuel too. How long will we defer the dependence on natural resources?
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Old 28th September 2010, 00:16   #3
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Why in the god's name do we want a 'CNG' Civic!! Is it even at par with the petrol's performance?
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Old 28th September 2010, 02:37   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooney View Post
CNG is fossil fuel too. How long will we defer the dependence on natural resources?
Got any better ideas? Vehicular electification in the West is still an ideal thats 5 years away.... IF it takes off! Imagine all the crap their batteries will have to tolerate in India and you begin to see how bleak our electric propulsion future is.

Forget about Hydrogen...its more of a myth than the Golden Fleece.

As far as automotive fuels, it doesn't get cleaner than methane (CNG).



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Why in the god's name do we want a 'CNG' Civic!! Is it even at par with the petrol's performance?
Comes factory fresh with a 113-hp, 1.8-Liter, 16-Valve, SOHC i-VTEC® 4-cylinder engine. That's approximately 12% less power than the conventional Civic 1.8L Petrol. (For reference, Indian CNG cars lose 20% or more power when retrofitted with CNG components at the dealer. That Honda minimized it down to 12% shows the benefits of factory installation and tuning!)

I don't know about you, but I'd give up 12% power to save 50% in fuel costs, tons of emission reductions and increased independence from imported crude oil.
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Old 28th September 2010, 11:05   #5
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Hydrogen is not a myth. It is a reality. The infrastructure costs are prohibitive. Every OEM wants to get there - FCEV. Everything in between is stop gap. I am well aware of battery EVs shifting tailpipe emission to factories, however if planned proper (recycling, nucler power plants to generate electricity, etc.), it is a much cleaner option.

I am not talking in the 5-10 years time frame Screwdriva. Still, if we want to change it (doing away with ICE), we need to start proactively now, and shifting fossil fuels or toying around with biodiesel are not long term solutions.

Last edited by Gooney : 28th September 2010 at 11:07. Reason: typo
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Old 28th September 2010, 12:38   #6
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CNG is fossil fuel too. How long will we defer the dependence on natural resources?
I am a Delhiite living in Bangy, so am qualified to comment. With all due respect, this had to come from somebody who has not had a chance to use CNG. It is not the best fuel when i comes to power. Expect around 20% drop in retrofit cases. However, the fuel saving are TREMENDOUS.

The current gen CIVIC is towards the end of its life cycle, so why not?

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I don't know about you, but I'd give up 12% power to save 50% in fuel costs, tons of emission reductions and increased independence from imported crude oil.
are you factoring the installation cost too as monthly derivative? If its only fuel cost you are considering, it's much more than 50% saving. CIVIC on CNG= Rs 1.5/km approx( 1 kg=Rs 27=1.5L approx). CIVIC on Petrol= Rs 5/km approx. It is at max 33% the running cost of Petrol. That is significant.

Last edited by Abhi_Automobile : 28th September 2010 at 12:40.
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Old 28th September 2010, 14:39   #7
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Two things. The future is in Fuel Cells. Buses fuelled by Alcohol fuels cells have been running in Reykjavik for about five years. Hydrogen will come through this route. Used to work on Hydrogen Energy in the late 70's early 80's. Hydrogen economy was 'round the corner', it still is.

CNG Civic will be an anathema to me. Maybe if the put in sequential direct injection it may become palatable.
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Old 28th September 2010, 14:54   #8
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CNG Civic will be an anathema to me. Maybe if the put in sequential direct injection it may become palatable.
Yup, true! Normal closed/open loop is crap and will not do any justice to CIVIC's performance.

BTW, its not going to happen! We know Honda's way of thinking.
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Old 28th September 2010, 15:20   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Screwdriva View Post
Got any better ideas? Vehicular electification in the West is still an ideal thats 5 years away.... IF it takes off! .
Doesn't Honda have a Hydrogen fuel based car in US? James May (Top Gear) drove one in California couple of series ago. They even showed him refueling it at a Shell pump.

PS: I think moderator's will soon be cleaning up this thread for off-topic discussions.

Last edited by asr245 : 28th September 2010 at 15:21.
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Old 28th September 2010, 16:07   #10
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Civic GX has the cleanest IC engine in US (rated Partial Zero emission). The costs would be too high and should go the same way as Hybrid Civic. Should be at least $6000 higher than the usual Civic.
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Old 28th September 2010, 16:38   #11
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I think I have seen CNG Honda in Japan as well.

Honda Siel Cars India Limited does not want to do institutional sales ( read taxi and fleet market) to maintain premium image and charge premium from well heeled Indian customers so CNG anything is strict no-no in their scheme of things. Initially they pulled up some dealers who sold few Honda's to Avis / Hertz. Their strategy has payed off till now and they are able to earn profits
so I don't think they give a damn to running costs or environment that much.
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Old 28th September 2010, 18:48   #12
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IMO, if someone can afford Rs 13+ Lakhs for a sedan, especially in India where its a premium offering, then they're definitely in a position to afford for its fuel, in petrol. In US, Civic is just another oridinary car, probably a VFM product & it perfectly makes sense to offer in CNG. Just shared my 2 cents of thought.
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Old 28th September 2010, 18:53   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
IMO, if someone can afford Rs 13+ Lakhs for a sedan, especially in India where its a premium offering, then they're definitely in a position to afford for its fuel, in petrol. In US, Civic is just another oridinary car, probably a VFM product & it perfectly makes sense to offer in CNG. Just shared my 2 cents of thought.
Well it's not just about money , It is about availability and energy security There is a lot of CNG available compared to oil , India has newly discovered lots of Gas and also there is shale gas in US.

Japan and Korea are in similar situation as India and use of CNG in taxis and private cars.
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Old 28th September 2010, 19:13   #14
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The Civic CNG doesn't make sense at all. Here's why:

- It anyways has the smallest boot. IMHO, it's less usable than even the ANHC.

- The Civic suffers from poor low end torque, and thus driveability. CNG will further deteriorate in-city performance.

- Regular supply of CNG poses its own challenges in India. In addition, how many cities have CNG pumps?

Honda should instead focus on launching some great diesels.
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Old 28th September 2010, 19:19   #15
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Originally Posted by amitk26 View Post
It is about availability and energy security There is a lot of CNG available compared to oil, India has newly discovered lots of Gas and also there is shale gas in US.
Availablity of petrol? There's no scarcity as yet. But if you mean CNG, I would say, then the engine has to be worked upon a lot, a real lot to power up to match the petrol engine in terms of power.

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Originally Posted by amitk26 View Post
Japan and Korea are in similar situation as India and use of CNG in taxis and private cars.
Again, you're missing the point; Civic is just another car in those countries, while its a premium segment here.

One of the proud owner has shared his view which I'm sure is the fact. IMO, a CNG doesn't add much of value, atleast, in India.
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