Owning Hybrid Car Brings Gallons of Satisfaction

While the dollars may not add up, it still makes lots of sense.

Published: 29-Jul-2007

For eight years, I owned an oversize SUV that guzzled way more than my share of gas. I convinced myself that I needed that vehicle for its eight seat belts, being the self-proclaimed carpool queen. My family also needed plenty of packing room for our annual camping trip; a smaller vehicle just wouldn't do. But as time marched on, Al Gore made me think about my anti-green ways. Gas prices soared past $3 a gallon, and I began to feel guilty.

Finally, the time came to buy a new car. With carpooling still high on my priority list and thoughts of future family road trips, I knew a five-passenger car wasn't going to cut it. After visits to several dealerships and much deliberation, I decided that we still needed an SUV, but that we would get a hybrid. It would be more environmentally friendly.

Different types of hybrids work slightly differently from one another, but, basically, they are powered by both an electric battery and a gas-powered combustion engine. From about 0 to 25 miles per hour, the car runs on the electric battery. When you start to exceed 25 m.p.h., or you're operating under a heavier load, it will use a combination of the gas engine and the battery.


Mark Phelan tests three different fuel efficiency technologies and concludes that hybrids are the past. Pictured are first Chrysler 300s to come off of European assembly line. Diesel is offered as an option in Europe on this model, but not in North America.

The PML Mini QED supports an all-electric range of 200-250 miles and has a total range of about 932 miles (1,500 km).

C-Metisse concept coupe powered by diesel and electric wheel motors, resulting in combined fuel consumption of 6.5l/100km (36.1mpg).


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