Wichita A Kansas automobile dealership has begun selling the natural gas-powered Honda Civic sedan, nearly 10 years after the Japanese automaker began building it.
The company only recently allowed sales of the car outside certain states.
Roger Scholfield, the owner of Scholfield Honda in Wichita, said he does not expect to sell as many Civic GX natural-gas models as gasoline-powered Civics or Accords. But he said if the dealership can sell five to 10 a month it would help it gain market share.
"And it's good for the environment," he added.
Scholfield started promoting the cars this week. Until recently, the models were available primarily on the coasts and through other approved dealers.
The car is identical to gasoline-powered models in terms of appearance and features, although its engine has a bit less horsepower. Its suggested retail price of $25,185 is about $10,000 more than for an entry-level, gasoline-powered Civic.
The Civic GX gets between 225 and 250 miles on a full tank of natural gas, said Lee Lindquist, alternative fuels specialist for Scholfield Honda.
But fueling stations are limited, with only a handful available in Kansas, Scholfield said.
To help overcome that obstacle, his dealership has joined with Fahnestock Plumbing HVAC & Electric to sell and install natural-gas filling units. The filling units, which range in price from $4,000 to $8,000, draw their natural gas from a business or home gas line.
Scholfield is banking sales will be spurred by a $4,000 federal tax credit on the GX and a $1,000 credit on the filling unit.