Once a luxury for environmentalists with deep pockets, hybrids are now becoming more affordable even here in Rochester. About two and a half year's ago, Andrea Zuegel decided she wanted to do something good for the environment, that would also save her money.
So she bought a Toyota Prius, it's a gas- electric, hybrid vehicle. "In warm weather it gets close to 50 mph in the dead of winter it's really in the mid 30's, Zuegel says. "It gets great mileage, but it's also a small tank. So I never pay more than 25 dollars to fill up which today is really unusual," she adds.
More and more people are changing over to hybrids and car makers are making it easy. Right now there are more than a dozen different hybrids on the market. "The general rule of thumb with hybrids is if you plan on buying your vehicle and your going to be using it for at least five years, the economics of a hybrid make sense," says Roy Green from LU Engineers.
Eight years ago only nine-thousand hybrids were sold in this country. In 2006, that number jumped to more than a quarter of a million. The price is one reason why the popularity of hybrids is soaring . "As more manufacturers have gotten into the hybrid market, the car prices have come down."
Zuegel says making the change is easy, because hybrids are "almost" just like any other car. "One thing I tell people is you don't need to make a change in your lifestyle to do something a little bit better for the environment," she says.
The hybrid market isn't just expanding to more affordable models. More and more high-end luxury vehicles also have hybrid versions.
For more information on how to make the purchase of a hybrid affordable watch our complete interview with Roy Green. It can also be found on this website.
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