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Top 10 Alternative Fuels on the Road Right Now


4
Compressed Natural Gas
The Honda Civic GX natural-gas-powered vehicle runs on compressed natural gas.
The Honda Civic GX natural-gas-powered vehicle runs on compressed natural gas.
AP Photo/Honda

What if, instead of heading to the gas station when you needed to fuel up your car, you had a fuel line running to your house, ready whenever you needed it?

With a compressed natural gas (CNG) car, you already do (well, probably). Compressed natural gas is the same fuel you might use in your home for cooking and heating, and it runs to your home in a line supplied by the gas company. For a CNG vehicle, the gas is stored in high-pressure cylinders. When you have a compressed natural gas vehicle, there's actually a little more to the process than just hooking up to the nearest stove fitting. You'll also need a fueling station in your house that's capable of compressing the gas. The compressed gas is then stored in the car's fuel tank (or tanks), as CNG takes up a greater amount of space than gasoline does.

Honda introduced the Honda Civic GX in 1998. The Civic GX is a regular Honda Civic that runs on compressed natural gas. As CNG is cheaper and burns cleaner than gasoline, these types of cars may gain popularity -- especially if the initial expense of installing a fuel station in a home is offset by savings on fuel. One downside, however, is that there isn't yet a nationwide network of fuel stations offering compressed natural gas -- which means that if you run out of fuel when you're far from home, you're simply out of luck.


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