Hybrid Cars Rise In Popularity

One of the vehicles at Allen Toyota in Gulfport that's increasingly attracting more customers is the Toyota Prius - a hybrid.

Vitus Fan has owned this one for about a year.

"First of all, I thought it was cool. You know in the magazine they say they have different designs and then I thought well, it's good for gas mileage too because I run along the street a lot," said Fan.

"They've become more and more popular with the way the gas prices are going which is out the roof. How many have you sold this year? I've sold seven," said sales consultant Joseph Moore.

Hybrid car sales have gone pretty well here at Pat Peck Honda as well.

"Under acceleration in a vehicle is when you burn most of your fuel. Well with the electric assist, it allows the engine to accelerate with electric assist and use less fuel. It's gonna save you relatively ten miles per gallon towards your equipped gasoline engine," said sales consultant Paul Scardino.

Fuel efficiency is the main draw for the many hybrid car customers. With an average of nearly 50 miles to the gallon, they are saving quite a bit of money at the pumps. But many manufacturers are saying you don't need a hybrid to save money or gas.

"The manufacturers know that fuel prices have gone up and they need to meet that demand for better fuel economy.They are giving the larger vehicles a whole lot better fuel economy.We have full size luxury Cadillac sedan Sevilles that are getting thirty miles per gallon," said Turan-Foley general sales manager Ken Monroe.

Many of the salesmen believe hybrid technology will be the wave of the future.

The government is also rewarding some hybrid car buyers by offering a two-thousand dollar tax incentive for purchasing a hybrid car.