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Monday, June 2, 2008

Sale of hybrid vehicles gaining traction

From a story by Tom Content in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

How's this for oil-shock value: Scott Olson of Brookfield went to his car dealership to get the oil changed on his sport utility vehicle and drove home in a new SUV that gets nearly twice the gas mileage.

"I was filling it up every five days," he said of his old Ford Escape. "Now I'm only filling it up every eight or nine days."

Olson, 43, now the proud owner of a blue Mercury Mariner hybrid SUV that gets nearly 40 mpg in city driving, is part of the latest crowd of buyers bothered by fuel costs who are now in the hunt for hybrid electric vehicles.

Until recently, most hybrid buyers could be characterized as having a "green streak," concerned about the environment and pollution released from tailpipes, said John Dolan, hybrid sales specialist at Smart Motors in Madison.

"But once oil got to $100 a barrel and on toward $130, we're starting to see more and more people who don't even characterize themselves as environmentalists," he said. "They're just looking at buying a hybrid as a dollars and cents thing."

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