CNG vs Hybrid

Are CNG powered vehicles cleaner than hybrid cars? It’s now the discussion on “CNG vs Hybrid”. This is the question running in the minds of potential natural gas vehicle and hybrid car buyers. Although natural gas vehicles such as the Honda Civic GX has been in the market for a decade, it is the hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius that are getting more attention, especially in the face of rising oil prices and concerns over the environment.

Natural Gas vs. Hybrid

In 2007, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy put the Honda Civic GX on the top of the list of the most environmentally friendly cars of the year, besting the Prius. Since the Honda Civic GX is the only passenger car model running on compressed natural gas available to the public, comparing the GX to the Prius will help clarify which is the better option when it comes to fuel efficiency and eco-friendliness.

The Honda Civic GX runs exclusively on compressed natural gas. This alternative fuel is the cleanest burning of all fossil fuels. When burned, natural gas produces 117,000 pounds per billion BTUs of carbon dioxide while gasoline emits 164,000. Natural gas engines also produce significantly lower nitrogen oxide emissions at 92 pounds per billion compared to gasoline’s 448.

Natural gas also emits significantly lesser particulates at just 7 pounds per billion compared to 84 pounds per billion for gasoline. In terms of sulfur dioxide emissions, natural gas produces just a mere 1 pound per billion of particulates which is way smaller than gasoline’s 1,122 pounds per billion of particulates. In terms of carbon monoxide emissions, natural gas produces 40 pounds per billion which is slightly more than gasoline’s 33 although the difference is insignificant.

Meanwhile, the Toyota Prius is not shabby in the eco-friendliness department either. It combines a traditional internal combustion motor, powered by gasoline, with an electric motor for propulsion. It is rated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as the most fuel-efficient car sold in the United States in 2008. The 2008 Toyota Prius registers 48 mpg for city driving and 45 mpg for highway driving. It is also one of the least CO2-emitting vehicles today according to the UK Department for Transport. The Prius also features a number of advanced technologies that help improve fuel economy, such as regenerative braking system that converts the energy created when braking into electrical energy and stores it in the car’s battery.

Honda Civic GX vs. Hybrid

Overall, in terms of cleanliness and eco-friendliness, the Honda Civic GX beats the Toyota Prius handily. Natural gas is evidently much cleaner than gasoline. On the other hand the Toyota Prius is tops when it comes to fuel efficiency. The drawback with the Honda Civic GX is that there are very limited units available. For people who are considering switching to natural gas, an alternative option would be to convert an existing gasoline-powered vehicle. CNG United is the exclusive distributor in America for Auto Gaz Centrum.