Honda’s top-selling Civic IMA received a major boost this week following news that the government is to increase duty on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) fuel over the next three years.
The move signals the end of Britain’s LPG boom – and means that the petrol electric Civic must now be seen as the best alternative fuel car available, taking into account all cost aspects.
It is not only the most affordable petrol electric car on the market, but also has the longest warranty (3 years / 90,000 miles plus 8 years / 100,000 miles for the IMA components), lowest running costs and cheapest benefit in kind tax liability.
Purchasers of the £15,000 Civic IMA are currently eligible for a £1000 grant under the Energy Savings Trust’s Powershift scheme, meaning that the IMA costs no more to buy than a top-of-the-range 1.6 litre petrol Civic 5-door. Benefit in kind tax for company car drivers is applied at the lowest rate of 12% for hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles, while a band AA VED rate means that road fund licence costs just £70 per year.
A combined EU fuel consumption figure of 58 mpg means that a motorist travelling 20,000 miles per annum would save over 100 gallons of petrol each year, at a current price of around £400, using a Civic IMA instead of an ordinary 1.4 litre petrol model. This also equates to a saving of more than 1 tonne of CO2 pumped into the atmosphere, each year.
Despite only being launched in May some 700 units have been sold – making it the most popular petrol-electric model sold in Britain this year.
For 2004, the Civic IMA benefits from new design headlamps, grille and front and rear bumpers – while the interior is now all black leather instead of tan. Additionally the ABI has reduced its insurance group recommendation from Group 9 to Group 8.
"We have enjoyed a tremendous level of interest in the fleet and business community for this vehicle in general," said James Daulton, Head of Corporate Sales for Honda (UK). "The public sector has shown particular interest in the new IMA as it offers the best combination of low emissions coupled with attractive holding and running costs. A number of Police and Fire authorities have already ordered the vehicle for use within their fleets and many others are evaluating for future use."
- Services that have ordered vehicles so far: Merseyside Police / West Midlands Fire Brigade/ London Fire Brigade / Wiltshire Police