New Hybrid Cars Come With A Catch - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

04/03/05 - Lufkin

New Hybrid Cars Come With A Catch

by Chris Cato

Mary Jo has been driving her hybrid Toyota Prius for over a year now. She says what many people fear is that it's like the fully electric cars, where you have to plug it in and has limited get up and go, but Mary says her little hybrid has plenty of zip to it.

Mary Jo Gorden said, "oh I spend about 15 dollars a month on gasoline."

Here are a few things you might not know about hybrid cars. Instead of using a key, you simply push a power button, much like a computer. But the main difference is under the hood. There is a normal gas engine, but there is also an electric engine.

The electric engine will get you going up to a certain speed but then the gas engine has to help out. It doesn't burn as much fuel because it's only working half as hard as it would in a normal car.

Mary Jo said, "it is a little bit different the way you drive it but I can live with that."

The catch to these cars comes when you need to have it worked on. You can't take these cars to your average Joe mechanic because the high voltage from the electric motor could be dangerous. You need to take it to a certified mechanic at your dealership.

As for battery and oil changes, that's something can still do that yourself.

Dealers we spoke with say many hybrids cost just about the same if not a little more, as a regular new car. And for an added incentive to purchase one, the government gives a $2,000 tax break the first year you own a hybrid.

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