Honda gives natural gas Civic drivers $3,000 worth of fuel

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Here’s an incentive you don’t see very often…

American Honda and Clean Energy Fuels Corp are offering $3,000 in fillups to customers buying a 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas car.

The Japanese automaker says buyers of the new compact Civic will get debit cards that can be used at any of the 163 Clean Energy stations in the United States.

Reuters reports that Honda has sold 1,576 of the cars, since it was introduced last October. The vehicles run on compressed natural gas. American Honda is the U.S. sales arm of Honda Motor Co.

Honda claims the model’s owners can save up to 40 percent on fuel compared with conventional gasoline-powered compact cars. The 2012 Honda Civic natural gas gets about 200 miles to a full tank.

The Civic Natural Gas is reportedly sold at 199 dealerships in 36 states. It is the only natural gas-powered car made by a major auto manufacturer that is available in the country. It currently retails for about $26,305 for the base model without destination charges,

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that natural gas filling stations are being built in the United States at a rate of 20 to 25 per month.

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