Hybrid Car Saves Fuel, Money

Federal tax break for so-called hybrid vehicles is getting smaller and will disappear after 2006 unless Congress extends it

Published: 25-Jan-2004

re an environmentally conscious driver, but you want a vehicle with some extra space. You never know when you'll need to transport a soccer team or small farm animal across town. Or perhaps you're a green consumer who secretly craves a sports car.

Automakers are eager to help. At this year's annual car show in Detroit, they unveiled snazzy new versions of energy-efficient vehicles. Their message: You don't have to sacrifice size and sex appeal to save on gas.

You can also save on taxes. But the federal tax break for so-called hybrid vehicles is getting smaller and will disappear after 2006 unless Congress extends it.

Hybrid vehicles combine an electric motor with a gasoline engine to deliver above-average gas mileage. Toyota and Honda sell hybrids now, and Ford and General Motors plan to introduce their own versions during the next three years.

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