Hybrids Save On Gas - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

7/8/08 - Nacogdoches

Hybrids Save On Gas

by Donna McCollum

David Kirby won't be disturbing the neighbors when he starts up his hybrid car.   The electric start up of a hybrid makes about as much noise as a golf cart. Kind of runs on the same principal. Instead of turning a key he inserts a fob and pushes a button. There's no gear shifts, just a little lever. There's no gas tank, but rather a bladder.   Look under the hood and you'll see why. Kirby remarked,  " It's entirely different. " Side by side is an electrical motor and a gasoline run engine. Kirby said, " They're meant to run low in emissions."

As Kirby drives down the road he averages over 47 miles a gallon, but at times he's getting as much as 100 miles a gallon. A display panel lets him know when the car switches back and forth from an electrical motor to a gasoline engine. He enjoys going stealth. As his hybrid kicks into running off of electrical power Kirby said,  " This is free traveling here. It doesn't cost us anything. "

Kirby isn't a hypermiler insisting on right turns only and coasting down all hills. Kirby explained why. " As far as just trying to be practical or pragmatic about your daily activities, I really don't see it. " But he recognizes that weight and speed cut into his mileage. He tries to keep both down. Yet maintains the confidence that when necessary his hybrid can accelerate easily.  

Kirby says misconceptions about hybrids are they don't have power, roominess and they cost too much. He got his used without the add on features. Referring to his own purchase he shared,  " It really wasn't that expensive. It was just $21,000."

Right now Kirby recognizes his hybrid is a bit of an oddity on the east Texas roadways, but he's confident the day will come when hybrids are right up there with pickups. Kirby likes the idea of saving fuel.  " I don't see the point in wasting gas when we don't have to. " Overall that makes him feel good about the direction people and their cars are heading.

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