GREENSBURG, Ind. -- Indiana's newest auto plant will make one of the cleanest and greenest Honda Civics in the world.
Civic GX is a $25,000 commuter car that runs only on natural gas -- going about 192 miles in city driving on an 8-gallon fuel tank that currently costs about $16 to refill at Indianapolis natural gas stations.
Basically, Honda is hedging its bets that oil prices will rise again. And we all know they will, in part because Americans will probably change their habits again, now that prices are lower.
So take a good look at this, because it may be one of the last real innovations based on choice. Here we have another choice offered by capitalism, but from here on out, I predict their will be mandates.
My concern right now is the lack of infrastructure to maintain such a vehicle. But that can be solved quickly, if the markets respond appropriately. The costs of regular maintenance and how many fueling stations can be built will be factors in how great of a deal this turns out to be. Another cause for concern: The response of the natural gas market, specifically, whether windmills can be implemented quickly enough to replace the existing need for energy. Will the new demand stress the the supply for people that use gas for heating? Most likely, yes.
This is also where I expect T. Boone to enter the scene on a golden horse.
But more than all of this, I think this is why Detroit is wanting a bailout right now. Maybe, just maybe, they are afraid this will catch like fire and they will be left in the dust.