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The Rise of the Hybrid Car

With the price of gas driving demand, take a
sneak peak at the future of car buying in the USA...

Is the Prius the future of hybrid cars?
Demand for the Toyota Prius and other
hybrid car models has steadily grown
since their introduction in the 1990s.

With gas prices at an all-time high, owners of new hybrid gas-electric cars (now getting on average 50-plus miles per gallon) are laughing all the way to the bank.

Growing demand for hybrid cars - long believed to be the vehicle of choice for either aging hippies or consumers "on the fringe" - may about to revolutionize car buying in the traditional land of the gas guzzler.

Not surprisingly, hybrids are most popular among Californians, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles. Cities where traffic and gas prices make hybrids a smart choice also include Chicago, Washington, DC, and New York.

While experts say it may be a decade before the vast majority of car owners in America are driving vehicles powered by both gas and electricity. However, with gas prices at more than $4 a gallon, recent buying trends say hybrids may well be here to stay.

Announced in 2012, a kit to convert any gas powered car or truck into a hybrid is planned to go on sale iin 2012, adding about 10 miles per gallon on average. When it comes to market the kit will retail for around $3,000 with customers achieving payback in as little as three years.

The reasons for the upsurge in hybrid car interest are obvious, and "Budgeting 101" plays a big part in car owners considerations. In a recent poll by Harris Interactive and Kelley Blue Book, for example, 49 percent of new car buyers said that gas prices would play a large part in the car they would choose.

But does that mean most consumers will pick a hybrid?

Car manufacturers are betting on it. At least a dozen hybrid car models were introduced by 2006, and more are forecast to be on the road in the years to come as gas prices show no sign of stabilizing any time soon.

Patriotic fervor for reducing America's oil dependence - as well as saving a buck at the gas station - may well push even the most ardent big car enthusiastic to take another look at hybrids.

More about hybrid cars around the Web:

Green Car Journal - Excellent guide to the latest models of hybrids and smart cars with general how to's on gas savings, along with a history of the hybrid car and stalled attempts at their manufacture in the past.

Hybrid Car Guide - Research, Reviews & News - Owner reviews and previews of top models including an MPG savings calculator and a guide to the technology behind hybrids.

Fuel - Guide from the U.S. Department of Energy on hybrids, diesel and fuel alternatives, tips on better gas mileage and car comparisons using criteria such as greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution ratings, and safety information.

also in Cars--> Who Pulled the Plug on The Electric Car?

also see in Science -> Global Warming

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