T. Boone Pickens isn’t hesitant to show his strong belief in the future of natural gas vehicles with or without Congressional approval of his Pickens Plan, which he has had to repeatedly modify in order to get around a fairly inert Congress.
The Pickens Plan aims to offer federal incentives for natural gas vehicles. But Pickens is convinced that the very low price of natural gas will help market penetration for these vehicles even if the Plan falls through.
“You don’t have to have a tax credit; it’s going to happen,” he said. The choices to run 18-wheelers, he said, are between natural gas and diesel — and natural gas is “$2 a gallon cheaper.”
Indeed, it appears he won’t really be pushing his Plan further. But if more cars like the Honda (NYSE: HMC) Civic Natural Gas become a reality, Pickens won’t have much to worry about.
That car, originally released thirteen years ago as the Honda Civic GX, has been rated the “Greenest Vehicle of the Year” by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy for nine years running.
Today, the Honda Civic Natural Gas has a compressed natural gas tank with a capacity of slightly less than 8.0 Gasoline Gallon Equivalent and a driving range between 180 and 250 miles.
CNG refueling locations are expanding rapidly, too, which gives these cars another boost over, say, electric vehicles (charging stations for which are still scarce). The government likes them too, as CNG-vehicle buyers receive a federal and a state tax credit (federal credit is $4,000 for the Honda Civic Natural Gas).