The trial has been tremendously successful (28,000 miles on the odometer). Now as my daughter is about to start driving it's time to expand the "fleet". We have determined that we will not purchase another vehicle that does not run on CNG.
Key questions I had at the start of the trial:
- Range? The Civic has been able to go everywhere we want to go in such a small car - Oklahoma City, Neosho, MO, Dallas. 200 miles per tank reliably, as high as 230 miles sometimes. 2 convenient filling locations in Tulsa, one off 169 at 51st St and one off 75 at 71st St, and 5 others scattered about. Refueling is as easy as gasoline as shown in the 3 minute video.
- Size? The trunk is small, but it passed the Target grocery cart test.
- Speed? First, it's a Civic... but it can run the turnpike at 85 mph with the cruise set.
- Maintenance? Three oil changes and one fuel filter changeout at Joe Marina Honda. No repairs have been necessary. The oil at 8,000 miles looks like new oil.
- Safety? I now feel safer with the CNG car than I do with a gasoline car - during refueling, when driving, when parked in the garage. CNG is lighter than air, is never a liquid. I love the video and the description of CNG tank testing shown here.
Areas for improvement:
- More fuel stations needed. It would be so wonderful if QT would put in some stations like the one at the Love's in Kingfisher.
- More OEM vehicles needed. Conversions are ok I guess, but I want the simplicity that I have enjoyed with the Civic - one stop shopping and maintenance.
More about the next vehicle search in a future post.