Gas-powered cars are the future

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    Having more natural gas-powered cars would make the U.S. less reliant on foreign oil imports at the unveiling of a new natural gas-powered car in the Tucker Technology Center, a professor said Wednesday.

    Ken Morgan, director of the TCU Energy Institute, said there will be a big change in the U.S. toward natural gas-powered cars in the next two to three years.

    Morgan, a Geology professor, said the Honda Civic GX, which the car company donated to the university, was the first of its kind to be owned by a college campus.

    Honda’s version of a natural gas-powered Civic, is plastered with TCU purple and a horned frog on the front hood.

    The Civic is an Advanced Technology Partial-Zero-Emission Vehicle and has been named “Greeniest Vehicle” by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy according to the Honda website.

    Morgan said the car is equipped with state of the art technology that American Honda has come out with that is natural gas instead of gasoline or diesel.

    “It’s much, much cleaner on the atmosphere, it runs at the same miles per gallon and we have so much of that natural gas is cheaper,” Morgan said.

    Morgan said the car should bring knowledge of alternative fuel types to the community that still makes the car run perfect, will have the same warranty as any other car coming off the assembly line and relies on our natural gas not foreign oil to produce gasoline.

    The car will be on display at various events, including football games, and around town to show that anyone can buy a car like this and help clean up the air, Morgan said.

    According to the Honda website, this environmentally-friendly Civic can be filled by using a Home Energy Station. The station provides the car with Compressed Natural Gas from gas lines connected to the pipes in the Civic owner’s house.

    This isn’t the first car of its kind for Honda though.

    Morgan said Honda is paving the way as one of the leaders in natural gas-powered cars with its eighth generation model and hopes other major auto companies follow suit to try and turn around the depleting car industry.

    According to an article in The New York Times, General Motors has already announced natural gas-powered alternatives to two full-sized vans.

    “I think [Honda] knew if they could get a car moving down the assembly line that everyone could afford that the country would start to look more domestic about how its fuels are used,” Morgan said.

    The Civic sells for about $26,000 with government rebates and a special discount for all university students and faculty, Morgan said.

    Based on 2011 EPA mileage estimates, the Civic GX gets 24 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway.

    “It’s such a more efficient and less costly way to go. Natural gas and electric cars are going to run the place,” Morgan said.