Hybrid Cars

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Stateline resident Kirk Weitzel knows this Sight of a gas station all too well. The stateline resident fills up the tank of his Chevy Tahoe two times a week and at $37 a pop it's starting to put a dent in his wallet.

"I'm kind of stuck and I have to travel with work. Next time I might get a car that's a little more efficient on gas," said Weitzel.

As gas prices rise more Americans are taking a look twice at fuel-efficient vehicles, especially hybrids.

"A lot of it is the gas mileage. Consumers are scared that the gas prices are going to get up there," said Devin Bloomingdale, a sales associate with Anderson Toyota in Rockford.

The Toyota Prius is selling so well, all Bloomingdale could show us was this brochure on the 2004 Motortrend of the year car.

"There's actually a really huge demand for this car. They're on national backorder right now. Personally we have 25 orders," said Bloomingdale.

Hybrid cars like the Prius are powered by gasoline and electricity, which means drivers get 60 miles a gallon in town. Bloomingdale says that's fueling interest in the car, along with the excitement of new and environmentally friendly technology.

"This is the technology of the future Toyota is predicating this is the way their cars are going to be and you'd have to request the gas option," said Bloomingdale.

Some say it will be a challenge for Kurt Weitzel and other stateliners to avoid driving a hybrid car down the road.

The Prius runs from $21,000 to $26,000. Toyota is in talks to lease its hybrid technology to Ford and GMC. Honda also offers a version called the Insight. Another benefit of the hybrid, many states offer tax breaks to owners.