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Honda’s Recent Ups (and Down) in Green Cars

Posted on the 11 January 2012 by 2ndgreenrevolution @2ndgreenrev

Honda’s Recent Ups (and Down) in Green CarsHonda Motor Company’s natural gas powered Civic won the 2012 Green Car of the Year at the most recent L.A. Auto Show. While this is nothing new for the car, it does help balance some of the recent negative publicity surrounding a court case brought against the automaker. Their hybrid Civic has come under fire by some owners for failing to deliver on claims of 50 miles per gallon. As mentioned in an earlier article on 2nd Green Revolution, the mileage standards include credits for advancements like more efficient air conditioning. Whether or not the EPA estimated mileage is misleading or not appears to be in a judge’s hands for now.

Last year the Honda Civic GX, the natural gas version’s official model name, earned top honors on’s 2011 annual rankings. That marked the 8th consecutive time the Civic won the appellation. Natural gas prices have plummeted with the advent of hydraulic fracturing (fracking). A recent NPR story questions the effect of natural gas’s low prices on the burgeoning solar industry. Earlier this month an article in the New York Times discussed the halting of fracking in Ohio in order to study the series of recent earthquakes in the area.

Lifecycle analysis for green cars must be taken into account. One of the reasons that electric vehicles have failed to take the top spot on green car lists is the consideration of how the electricity is generated. The same standard must exist for other sources of propulsion. Natural gas from potentially deleterious practices such as fracking have to play a role in the ranking of natural gas powered vehicles.

Perhaps the Honda Clarity FCX hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle is the company’s best bet for a sustainable future.

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