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Hybrid Cars As The Answer To The Growing Cost Of Petroleum

All commuters have felt the pinch at the pump, as gas prices rise higher and higher. More of these commuters are looking for ways to stretch their fuel dollars, including considering hybrid cars. A hybrid car combines the traditional gas engine with an electric motor and a Lithium ion battery.

One such commuter is Emily Callahan. Callahan, a 24-year-old landscape architect, choose the hybrid Nissan Altima for her first car back in 2007. She was one of the first purchasers of this model, a mid-sized sedan released in January of that same year.

Why did Callahan choose a hybrid? A number of factors, including fuel efficiency, environmental impact, size, and tax incentives encouraged her decision. She got a nice sized tax increase because, as one of the first consumers to purchase a hybrid, she got back $2300 (the full sales tax on the car).

Hybrids have more going for them than just tax breaks of course. Because of very high fuel costs recently, hybrids also save on gas. Callahan told us that the Altima Hybrid gets an average of 36 miles per gallon, and t his adds up to some real savings.

Callahan can compare the cost of her hour-long commute to that of a friend who has a traditional Nissan Altima and also has an hour-long commute. Per week, Callahan spends $75 while her friend spends $100.

Callahan says she would not consider going back to a traditional car now, because of savings and also that there are no carbon emissions from hybrid cars.

There are economic and environmental perks to be had, of course, but Callahan also points out that there is a camaraderie with other drivers who have hybrids. Once, she was sitting in traffic when another Altima Hybrid driver pulled up and gave her a thumbs up.

Hybrids offer many advantages. Check your favorite car manufacturer – most of them are joining the hybrid bandwagon. You can now find a range of vehicles, from compacts to SUVs, from Saturn or Ford or Toyota, or Honda or Lexus, all with hybrid technology.

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