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Hybrid Cars on the Rise

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Hybrid technology is becoming a more real option for new car buyers who want save money at the pump. Where choices were once limited, they'll soon be a lot more vast.

"When you come in here in May to buy a car, one of our first questions will be, "On your Highlander, do you want a gas engine or hybrid?" said Paul Atkinson with Atkinson Toyota.

Cars with hybrid technology are fuel efficient, half electric, and half gas. While these vehicles aren't new, there aren't many on the road in the Brazos Valley. That could soon change as more and more car makers turn to hybrid technology as gas prices continue to rise.

"We have a large waiting list of people wanting this because of the technology and it's growing. We've got four more models coming shortly with same hybrid technology, said Atkinson.

And new car shoppers are ready.

"I think now is a good time to start thinking about some other alternatives. Actually one of the reasons I'm out here today is to do just that. I know someone that just recently got the Toyota hybrid vehicle and I wanted to come take a look at that," said Derrick Darby, a new car shopper.

Gone are the days of the slow moving and strange looking hybrid cars. Many new models will look just like their gas counterparts and they'll go just as fast.

Automobile makers have taken notice of how many consumers are looking for an economic car that still looks good. The popular selling Honda Civic and Accord already come available in hybrid and you can't even tell the difference.

While Japanese auto makers refined hybrid technology in 1997, other car makers like Chevy, Ford, GM, and Dodge are giving their customers a choice too. By 2007, nearly 15 car, truck, and SUV models will have the technology.

And as the price of gas rises, the sale of hybrid cars and trucks may rise as well.