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.

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