With gas prices at an all-time high, those who own new hybrid gas-electric cars (now getting on average 50-plus miles per gallon) are laughing up to the bank.
Growing demand for hybrid cars – long believed to be the vehicle of choice for either aging hippies or consumers around the fringe – may planning to revolutionize car buying from 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 and DC and New York.
While experts say it may be decade before most car owners in America are driving vehicles powered by both electricity and gas. With gas prices at over $4 a gallon, recent buying trends say hybrids could be here to stay.
Announced in 2012, a kit to transform any gas powered car or truck into a hybrid is planned to go on sale iin 2012, adding about 10 mpg on average. In terms of market the kit will retail for $3,000 with customers achieving payback inside of three years.
The reasons why 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, as an example, 49 percent of new car buyers mentioned 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 onto it. At least 12 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 – along with saving a buck with the gas station – may well push even the most ardent big car enthusiastic to take another look at hybrids.