Honda GX a Deeper Shade of Green than Toyota Prius
Honda’s natural gas Civic GX, which debuted in 2006 in California but is now becoming available in other parts of the country, just may be the cleanest mainstream car on the road. At least the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) thinks so. The nonprofit group publishes an annual Green Book listing the greenest (and meanest) cars of the year, and put the Civic GX at the top of its 2007 environmentally friendly car list, edging out Toyota’s hybrid Prius.
Although neither car is a slouch when it comes to fuel economy and reduced emissions, the natural gas-fueled Civic scored slightly better than the Prius on both counts in ACEEE’s battery of tests. It also scored better in terms of the pollution generated in the manufacturing processes.
Natural gas is the cleanest burning of all fossil fuels. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the burning of natural gas emits 117,000 pounds per billion (ppb) BTUs of carbon dioxide as compared to gasoline’s 164,000. Its 92 ppb of nitrogen oxide emissions are considerably lower than gasoline’s 448, and its mere one ppb of sulfur dioxide emissions is dwarfed by gasoline’s 1,122. Natural gas also emits just seven ppb of particulates compared to 84 for gasoline, and it emits no mercury whatsoever against the trace amounts emitted by gasoline-burning engines. Natural gas combustion does generate slightly more carbon monoxide than gasoline, at 40 ppb versus 33, but the difference is negligible.
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