Hybrid Cars Selling Fast In Longview - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

01/23/04 - Longview

Hybrid Cars Selling Fast In Longview

Auto dealers in Longview say hybrid electric cars are in demand, and people are getting on waiting lists to get one.

"There's quite a waiting list on them now, its a very desirable car," says Jim Lott of Toyota of Longview. Toyota and Honda dealers in Longview are currently offering the hybrid, and the most popular seems to be Motor Trends car of the year, the Toyota Prius.

"Before, if you had an electric car you had to drive 50, 60 miles or so and you had to recharge, now you can drive this one 500 miles," says Lott. With gas prices continuing to climb, salesmen say customers are looking for good gas mileage, and the Prius delivers with 68 miles per gallon. A test drive and you feel the difference from a conventional engine, an eerie sensation, quiet, not even hearing the engine running.

The Honda civic is another of the hybrids selling fast. The attraction is simple. It's 48 miles to a gallon without plugs and recharges itself, and has extremely low emissions. "People that are very environmentally conscious are very interested in this because it's such a clean emissions vehicle. Under braking, it'll receive its maximum generation of electric power to recharge the battery," says Scot Mowles of Brew Honda.

And the cars are smart, onboard computers tell the engine when to power down and switch between gas and electric engines.  They are engineered so that no energy is wasted. Both vehicles run around $20,000 without extras, with the Prius offering a high tech onboard navigational system, optional.

Toyota of Longview and Brew Honda are the only two dealerships locally who are selling the hybrids.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.

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