Hybrid Are Hot!
Gavin Reynolds (Rochester, NY) 03/18/04 - Record high gasoline prices are driving up demand for hybrid cars which are powered by both a traditional gas engine and batteries. They get almost double the mileage than the average car.
Local dealerships say people have to sign up for waiting lists to get one.
Bob Estephan bought the new Toyota Prius. He'll figures he will save $3,000 a year in gas money.
"I mean just to give you an example, I put $17 of gas in a week, that gets me about 450 miles out of that," Estaphan said.
Right now there is a one-year waiting list to buy hybrids at some local dealerships.
Sales of the Honda hybrid have doubled over the past few months.
"This car is so popular right now, I'll be driving down the road, I'll be at a red light, somebody will roll down their window next to me, and yell over, ‘How do you like the car, what kind of mileage does it get?’" Estephan said.
Drivers don't have to worry about the battery dying. The car has both gas and electric power under the hood. If the battery gets low, the gas recharges it.
The hybrids cost around $20,000. The Toyota gets about 55 miles per gallon. It runs on electric power around town and uses gas on the highway.
“The acceleration on this car is probably as good if not better than any six-cylinder car," Estephan said.
He said if gas prices keep soaring, his wife will be driving one too.
Next year, manufacturers will offer a larger variety of hybrid cars, including a hybrid SUV by Toyota.
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