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Natural-Gas-Powered Cars Fetching Big Bucks Online


By Eric Adams
Popular Science
May 27, 2008


We reported last week on how feebly powered, fuel-sipping 1990s-vintage
hatchbacks have been lighting up the used car market recently due to
skyrocketing gas prices. In an interesting twist to this phenomenon, I actually
benefited myself somewhat from this hysteria when I had to sell my beloved
natural-gas-powered 2006 Honda Civic GX last week on eBay, turning it into one
of the smarter investments I made all year.

You may remember this car from a long-term evaluation PopSci did in 2006-2007 to
test the viability of a natural-gas vehicle in daily driving. We also evaluated
the Phill home refueling station that taps into your natural gas line to fuel
the car overnight. We praised the car's environmental benefits and its low fuel
costs—about $1.20-$1.40 per gallon.

Coincidentally, the end of the evaluation period happened to coincide with the
introduction of a 65-mile daily commute (each way) into my life. With gas prices
through the roof, my wife and I bought the Honda, and I've been driving it ever since.

Cars, alternative fuels, ebay, eric adams, gas prices, honda, honda civic, honda
civic gx, natural gas Until, that is, we decided to take back those two hours of
family time and move closer to work to eliminate the commute. Sadly our new
house doesn't have natural gas, so without an at-home fueling station, the Honda
had to go. I did some research, and found that compressed-natural-gas vehicles
are fetching big premiums online in places like Utah and Oklahoma where
natural-gas prices are ridiculously low—as low as 60-cents per gallon. When I
listed the car on eBay, it sold three days later to someone in Oklahoma for
$18,600, about $4,000 more than what I paid for the car when I purchased it from
Honda less than a year before, and $2,000 above its Kelley Blue Book value. (The
sale price to me reflected various state and federal tax incentives that Honda
took when they owned it.)

Who'd have thought that the highest-performing investment of my entire year
would be a used Honda Civic? We loved owning the car, and will miss its
greenest-car-on-earth cache. But we realized that living five miles from work is
probably better for the environment than living 65 miles from work, no matter
what you drive. Want to keep track of the latest concept cars, automotive
innovations, and more? Subscribe to Popular Science and get 76% off the cover
price!

 

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