Twenty years ago the threat of global warming was just as abstract and surreal as the threat of alien invasion is to us today. Yes, of course it’s a distinct possibility. It’s something we’ll deal with when it gets here. Today it’s here, and it’s impossible for us to be so flippant about it. The permanent damage to the ozone layer that we can’t seem to come up with a way to fix, coupled with the rising number of days when the smog alert is a vitally important number, is driving many California residents to go green and invest in a hybrid car.
What is a Hybrid?
The concept of a hybrid car isn’t at all unusual. Hybrids have been around for years, combining power sources to achieve maximum results. There are many types of hybrid car on the market today; however, if you were to ask just about anyone what a hybrid is the first thing that would come to their minds is the electric hybrid.
Electric hybrids like the Toyota Prius have become extremely well known in today’s society, blending gasoline engines with battery back-up to give cars more power with less fuel combustion. When the vehicle needs to accelerate it does so using the electric power from the battery rather than the fuel power of the gas. Less burning fuel provides fewer emissions, which equates to healthier air-and much better gas mileage.
The Benefits of Owning a Hybrid Car in California
Everyone likes to feel like they’re doing their part for the environment, but let’s face it-that’s probably not what’s made California a leader in hybrid sales in the past. In 2008 California had the highest number of hybrid car sales in the country. Environmental awareness? Public health campaigns? Possibly, but more likely than not it has something to do with the way California drivers have figured out how to use the hybrid car to improve their fiscal fitness.
Hybrids are slightly more expensive to purchase at the beginning that their petroleum powered counterparts, but in the wake of gas prices that hit record highs in recent years the amount of money many drivers can save on gas through their better mileage is making the investment worth it. Depending on driving conditions the Toyota Prius averages between 45 and 48 miles to the gallon, as opposed to the 35 or below typically seen in most gas guzzling vehicles. Those extra ten miles between rest stops are paying off with some major pay-offs.
If saving on gas isn’t enough, maybe saving on parking will be. Various cities from one end of California to the other have begun offering anyone driving a hybrid car free streetside parking. Many businesses are handing out prime parking spots left and right in a manner previously reserved for the handicapped to people behind the wheel of a hybrid. Drivers may even get lucky enough to find a charging station for their hybrid battery in their parking garage.
There are many, many benefits of to owning a hybrid car for the average California driver, but whether your interest is in the daily smog alert or the balance in your checking account nothing beats knowing you’re making life a little bit better for everyone by getting behind the wheel of a hybrid.