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Hybrid cars catching on
Kate York
mariettatimes.com

Ohio - Hybrid cars are gaining popularity around the Mid-Ohio Valley, but with the attraction of the vehicles there is a wait for buyers of up to a year on some models.
Toyota and Honda both have hybrid vehicles on the market now, with General Motors, Ford and Daimler Chrysler to begin offering hybrids later this year.

The hybrids combine the internal combustion engine of a conventional car with the battery and electric motor of an electric car, resulting in twice the fuel economy of a conventional vehicle.

Some local residents say making the move to a gasoline-electric powered car has been the right decision, with local gas prices now more than $2 per gallon.

"It saves so much in gas money," said Randy Trayner, 37, of Parkersburg, who bought a hybrid Toyota Prius three months ago. "And I don't have to feel like I'm adding as much to the pollution."

Mark Albright, salesman at C& C Dodge Toyota on Newport Pike in Marietta, said the Prius (cost around $16,500) produces 90 percent fewer emissions than an average new car.

Like other hybrids, it also gets much better gas mileage. Because of a unique braking system, The Prius gets 60 miles per gallon in the city and 51 mpg on the highway (at 55 mph), compared to the average gas-powered full-size car, which gets 20 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

"There is so much interest that we can't get enough of them," said Albright. "We get probably 50 people a week asking about them."

The wait for a Prius locally is about a year, Albright said. There are 10 people on a waiting list now, he said.

Dennis Carter, salesman at Larry Simmons Honda Mazda Volkswagen in Parkersburg, said interest has also increased recently in the hybrid Honda Civic, which has a wait of only about a week.

"We've had quite a bit of interest, especially since the gas prices went up," Carter said. "The hybrid is going to cost you about $5,000 more than the regular Civic but you can get a whole lot of fuel for $5,000."

The $20,000 hybrid Civic is only made in a deluxe model, with air conditioning, power windows, mirrors and power locks, cruise control, CD player, front and side airbags and an anti-theft system. The price for a regular Civic starts at about $14,000.

Those who buy hybrid cars can also get tax incentives through the federal Clean Fuel Vehicle Tax Deduction program. The Honda Civic and Insight, as well the Toyota Prius, are all eligible for the incentive, which was $2,000 in 2003 but expected to drop to $1,500 this year.

Dealers expect even more interest as hybrids began to advance beyond small cars.

Toyota is planning a hybrid Highlander while General Motors is expected to have three models of hybrid sport utility vehicles by 2007 and hybrid Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras later this year.

Also, a hybrid Ford Escape will be available by next year. Daimler Chrysler will unveil a hybrid Dodge Ram pickup this year, too. In 2006, a hybrid Mercedes S-class will roll off assembly lines.

The wait for hybrids in larger cities is even worse than in the Mid-Ohio Valley, Albright said.

"They're even more popular in bigger cities where they do a lot of city driving," he said. "The bigger dealers have 30, 40 or 50 people putting down deposits and waiting."

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Discussion Starter #3
Originally posted by Z28x@May 17 2004, 09:32 AM
Hybrid Mileage Comes Up Short

Diesel > Hybrid
I agree. Too bad GM isn't serious about them either...(for some reason DCX is able to introduce a Diesel Jeep...)

Are we going to see diesels in mid-market GM cars and trucks?

You'll have to find the technological solution, which we have people working on, or you're going to have to change the regulations. Our next set of regulations are four times as stringent as the new regulations Europe just put into effect this year. There are some that say maybe they will change the regulations. If they change the regulations, that's one of these externalities.
http://www.autoweek.com/cat_content.mv?por...t_code=05499643
 

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While I didn't like the Prius from the beginning, they seem like "Best Buys" now that gas is reaching "epidemic proportions". <<<LOL If you want a safe, reliable, feature-laden car that gets good mileage, the Prius seems to be IT right now.
 

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I just hope Detroit becomes active in this area soon or it will be the late 70's all over again.

By the way, has GM mentioned anything about putting the Duramax into its large SUVs like the H2?
 
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