It seems that not too long ago hybrid cars were a luxury or simply just a thought, now hybrid cars are everywhere. The hybrid market is now one of the fastest growing sectors of the auto industry.
To answer environmental fears, many consumers are picking smaller vehicles or hybrid vehicles to help reduce the impact that cars have on the environment. Nevertheless, it isn’t just environmentalists that are choosing to buy hybrid cars. Value conscious consumers are also increasingly interested in buying hybrid cars. In a time of unstable gas prices, hybrid cars make a smart choice for those worried about fuel efficiency as hybrids get significantly better gas mileage than their traditional counterparts.
Why buy a Hybrid?
For some consumers, the additional cost of a hybrid vehicle can be a problem, however, owning one is like converting religions and realizing you just spent your life with the wrong group. Customer satisfaction is among the highest with hybrid vehicle owners and the financial benefits can be substantial.
You’ll save money on gas- With gas prices soaring to more than four bucks a gallon in many parts of the country, there’s no smarter reason to switch to a hybrid than fuel efficiency. Just compare the miles per gallon you’re getting now with, for example, a Toyota Prius’s 60 mpg in the city and 51 mpg on the highway. In fact, hybrid cars can go for more than 600 miles between fill-ups, meaning you should be able to cut visits to your neighborhood gas station in half, saving you time as well as money. If you drive 1,000 miles a month and your current car averages 20 miles per gallon, driving a hybrid could save $700 or more a year at the pump.
Reduce Sound Pollution – In addition to reducing emissions, hybrids also significantly reduce sound pollution. Hybrids run much quieter and smoother than traditional cars. If more people began driving hybrids, it would greatly reduce the amount of noise pollution coming from the nation’s roadways. In metropolitan areas, this would be a particularly welcome development as anyone who has lived on a busy street or near a highway could confirm.
You’ll be doing your part to help protect the environment.- Not only do gasoline-electric hybrids get much better mileage than many standard cars, but most also produce about 90 percent fewer smog-forming tailpipe emissions compared with the average new car, according to Dave Hermance, head of Environmental Engineering for Toyota.
You’ll get cash back from Uncle Sam - More financial incentive to buy a hybrid: The IRS’s Clean Fuel Vehicle Tax Deduction allows you to take money off your 2004 federal tax bill. You may also qualify for additional financial incentives offered by state and local agencies; log on to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Website (www.ccities.doe.gov/vbg/progs/laws.cgi) to learn more.
Free HOV Passes- Many states have introduced programs where owners of hybrid cars get free HOV passes and even special parking passes. Although saving money on the cost of a HOV pass is not anything to write home about, you can feel safe driving in the HOV lane without constantly looking around for a police officer and that is priceless.
Altruism – After years of environmentalists talking about how bad cars are, hybrids can give their owners a certain sense of pride in their purchase. They can feel good about their choice-it reduces the impact on the environment and helps take responsibility for the mistakes of the past. Moreover, as more hybrids are sold, demand will increase which will lower the price and make the cars more accessible to large portions of the population.