Gas-electric Car an Economy Whiz

Fans gather in San Leandro to share love for their special cars

Published: 18-Aug-2003

LEANDRO -- With a wide-eyed zeal usually reserved for political rallies or Star Trek conventions, people from as near as Hayward to as far away as Washington state culminated hours of Internet forum discussions with a meeting over their shared obsession.

About a dozen fans of the Honda Insight car gathered Sunday in the parking lot of the West Gate Shopping Center in San Leandro to share their love for the so-called "hybrid" car -- which runs on a combination of gas and electric power. There they traded notes and stories while their uniquely designed cars rested side-by-side, glistening in the summer sun.

"It's not a quote, 'electric,' car. It's only a little bit electric," explained Bill Kinney of Walla Walla, Wash. "You don't plug it in. You just fill it up with gas and go."

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Whether it's the cutting-edge technology and sleek aerodynamics or the environmental benefits of the two-seat vehicle, the little hybrid with the odd design appears to have attracted a local cult following.

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