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Californians: Buy Honda Civic Natural Gas, Get $1,000 Off--But, Hurry

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Do you live in California? Have you been mulling over the purchase of a natural-gas vehicle?

If so, Honda wants you to know that its 2014 Honda Civic Natural Gas model is eligible for an immediate $1,000 purchase credit--but you'll need to act swiftly.

DON'T MISS: 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas: First Drive

Starting on May 1, the California Energy Commission made available 1,600 natural-gas-vehicle purchase credits of $1,000 each. But the program expires on April 22, 2015--or before that date, if all the credits are claimed.

2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas, El Segundo, CA, Nov 2011

2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas, El Segundo, CA, Nov 2011

Enlarge Photo

The natural-gas version of the 2014 Honda Civic is the only passenger car powered solely by natural gas that's available for purchase from a major automaker; it's built in the same Ohio assembly plant as gasoline and hybrid Civics.

The purchase credit programs differs from the California purchase-rebate program for plug-in cars that may be more familiar to the state's car buyers.

ALSO SEE: Honda Civic, Hybrid & Natural Gas: Ultimate Guide

To take advantage of the credit, buyers purchase the car from one of the Honda dealers certified to sell the natural-gas model of the Civic--and it's deducted directly from the price that has to be paid.

The electric-car incentive, on the other hand, requires the buyer to apply for the rebate after purchase, after which the state mails a check for the rebate amount to the buyer weeks or months later.

2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas, El Segundo, CA, Nov 2011

2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas, El Segundo, CA, Nov 2011

Enlarge Photo

The Civic Natural Gas model, along with battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, qualifies for a white sticker that gives it access to the state's high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) or "carpool" lanes even with a sole occupant.

That incentive now runs through the end of 2018, and applies also to High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes as well (with a couple of exceptions).

Along with high rates of plug-in electric car ownership, California has more natural-gas fueling stations than any other state, with more than 150 to date.

Nationally, there are about 1,000 natural-gas fueling sites altogether, but fewer than half of them are open to the public, as most are privately operated for fleet vehicles.

For 2014, Honda notes that it has equipped the Civic Natural Gas with some new standard features.

Those include higher-quality seat material and door trims, a new 7-inch touchscreen display audio system with tablet-like swipe capabilities.

The top-of-the-line Civic Natural Gas Leather Navi model gets leather seats, heated front seats and side mirrors, and a standard six-speaker audio system.

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