More Drivers Steering Toward Hybrid Cars
Whether driven by economics or environmental concerns, more drivers are steering toward hybrid cars nationwide with record registrations recorded in 2007. A national automotive and marketing research company R.L. Polk and Co. reports an increase of 38 percent to a record 350,000 plus hybrids, and Washington ranked in the top five states.
Leading the hybrid charge was California with over 26 percent of new hybrid registrations last year; followed by Florida, New York and Texas in the five percent range; and Washington state with 3.7 percent.
So far it seems to pay. King County is already reporting gas savings in fuel on their hybrid truck in service six months now, last month Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels pitched a proposal to replace all gas guzzling Crown Vic cabs with hybrids by 2013. That proposal is being met with resistance by cab companies citing the high initial purchase price and the small limited space. Seattle City Council must vote to approve.
The number one selling hybrid nationwide is Toyota's Prius, which averages around 46 miles per gallon in the city. The Prius' price tag ranges from $21,000-$23,000. Toyota has 51 percent of the hybrid market, up 43 percent despite competition.
The Prius' competition includes the new Nissan Altima, Saturn Aura and Lexus LS 600h for hybrid sedans; sport utility hybrids include versions of the Mazda Tribute, Chevy Tahoe and the GMC Yukon.