Green Car Journal awarded its Green Car of the Year Award to the 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week. The natural gas-powered Civic is the only factory-built car in the United States to run on the alternative fuel, Honda says in a press release.

The recipient of the award must be a significant entry in the market and have “newness” and “quantifiable environmental achievement,” Green Car Journal says in a statement. Other contenders for this year’s award included the Mitsubishi i, Toyota Prius v, Volkswagen Passat TDI and Ford Focus Electric. Last year’s winner was the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.

“The 2012 Civic Natural Gas … runs on a clean fuel that is almost exclusively domestically sourced and typically priced about 30 percent less than gasoline,” writes Green Car Journal. It is also “the cleanest running internal combustion vehicle certified by the EPA.”

Honda says that it is increasing its network of dealerships that will sell the Civic Natural Gas “to 200 dealers in 36 states,” which is an increase from only four states that currently sell it.

According to Honda, the 2012 Civic Natural Gas gets an estimated 27/38 mpg city/highway. Honda estimates the car has a range of 190 miles. Green Car Journal says that refueling the Civic Natural Gas should take about five minutes at stations that sell the fuel. The 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas starts at $26,155.

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