Hybrids: Saving More than Money
With the invention of $3.00+ gasoline, the public image of hybrid cars has transformed from political statement of the educated elite, to practical choice for anyone who drives. There have been many reasons to use less petroleum for decades, but now, both long term and short term objectives are served by this technological innovation.
Hybrid Car Technology, simply put, is a way of getting more power out of less fuel. By cutting wasteful uses and recapturing energy whenever possible, hybrid cars can drive at least twice as far on the same amount of fuel as compared to a comparable gas engine car. From a financial perspective, this means that for every $20 of gas a simple gas engine car burns, a hybrid can go the same distance for $10.
Carried another step, if you were to compare the cost of driving an average SUV to the cost of driving a small hybrid, the cost difference is even greater! Where an SUV may be getting 15MPG (under real-life conditions) and a hybrid may be getting more than 60MPG (even the Toyota Prius can get up to 65MPG average if driven properly), you're looking at a FOUR FOLD DIFFERENCE! When a Toyota Prius driver spends $20 for miles traveled, an SUV driver must pay $80! Week, after week, after week, after week...
From a dollars and cents perspective, the value of fuel efficient hybrid cars is academic. From the perspective of passing our planet along to our children in as good condition as when he recieved it, the value of low emmissions vehicles that consume less resources is truly exciting. The Toyota Prius in particular, with the Hybrid Synergy Drive*, is a Partial Zero Emmisions Vehicle. That means, when driving in full electric mode, the vehicle generates no combustion by-products at all. Meaning zero contribution to global warming. Driving a zero emmisions vehicle is a personal action that enables you to pass the world on to your children - without the need to apologize for the state in which they recieve it.
All things considered, hybrid gas-electric cars are currently very hot, and are looking to get only hotter as fuel prices rise.
* The Hybrid Synergy Drive is a Trademark of Toyota