Hybrids are a hot subject today and they are beginning to show up across the United States. Any vehicle is a hybrid when it combines two or more sources of power. Hybrid cars run off a rechargeable battery and gasoline. Because batteries can supply only enough energy for short trips, an onboard generator, powered by a gasoline engine, must be present for longer trips. When the car is stopped, hybrid gasoline motors can shut off and run on their electric motor and battery. Everyone must take steps to reduce the destruction of the environment. Auto emissions are the number one cause of global warming. A gallon of gas weighs just over six pounds; however once burned, it combines with oxygen to produce nineteen pounds of carbon dioxide. OPEC has promised to cut oil production again and all indicators suggest oil prices will continue to move up and up. With rough calculations based on 15,000 miles a year and paying $2.00 per gallon, an increase of 10 mpg would save you $300 per year. A one-time $1,500 tax deduction for new hybrid cars available from the Federal government through 2006 and access to the carpool lane even when driving alone also make these cars appealing. Five states offer tax credits or deductions for new hybrid cars.
Oil use is extensive in the United States. American cars and trucks consume more than eight million barrels of oil daily, putting the tab for foreign crude at $200,000 per minute. If fuel efficiency standards in American cars are raised by one mile per gallon, in one year, the United States could save twice the amount of oil that could be obtained from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. If the standard was raised it by 7.6 miles, the country could eliminate one hundred percent of the gulf oil imports into America. An estimated one-third of America's $300 billion annual defense budget goes to ensure the transport of oil from the Persian Gulf.
Hybrids come with the usual company warranties along with extra coverage on batteries and emission components.