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Where he's going, he doesn't need gasoline

Energy Editor Adam Wilmoth spends more money on a Big Gulp than on a gallon of fuel in his new car.
by Adam Wilmoth Modified: May 2, 2013 at 8:27 pm •  Published: May 3, 2013

It's finally time to retire my 1998 Chevy Lumina.

My car is for commuting. I drive from my home in Moore to work in north Oklahoma City and back.

That's about it.

On the weekends or anytime my family is together, we take my wife's van.

So when I went to replace my car, I wasn't looking for something large, luxurious or able to drive cross country. I simply wanted something that would take me 45 miles each day to and from work comfortably and as inexpensively as possible.

For me, that meant something that runs on compressed natural gas.

So I bought a 2009 CNG Honda Civic. It's a retired fleet vehicle with about 33,000 miles.

With my new car, I can pay more for a Big Gulp than for a gallon of fuel — at least at the CNG station by my house, and until the 50 cent-per-gallon tax credit expires at the end of the year.

I topped off my tank this weekend, adding nearly 3.7 gallons for $2.93.

Even without the tax break, I should notice a pretty nice savings.

I've only had the car for less than a week, but so far, I'm pleased.

The natural gas tank holds only about 8 equivalent gallons, but that's enough for at least 200 miles — about four days' commute.

The car has good pickup and, as far as I can tell, runs about the same as a comparable gasoline-powered vehicle.

Some concessions have been made. To make room for the natural gas tank, there are no rear speakers and the trunk is quite small.

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by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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