Hybrid SUV comes to Southwest Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hybrid SUV comes to Southwest Georgia

Albany- Instead of remodeling the Ford Escape, Ford decided to make a hybrid version. The two cars look the same, but gas mileage on the hybrid version is considerably better.

'The Ford Escape hybrid is the first hybrid SUV in America and it just arrived in Southwest Georgia. Fordtown is already getting calls. With gas prices climbing they expect the Ford Escape to sell well.

"It's very popular because you're not sacrificing the safety, comfort, or convenience that folks who have been driving an SUV are accustomed to and you get the added benefit of fuel economy," said Brian Willian.

The hybrid has a regular gas engine up front and a battery powered system in the back allowing the car to switch between the two.

"What the vehicle does, the technology that's employed in it, it determines which source it needs to use in order to power the vehicle best for the situation," said Willian.

Hybrid vehicles also do better in the city.

"You normally get 31 in the city and 36 on the highway. With using most of the battery in the city, with the braking and recharging and not having to use the gas, you get better mileage in the city," said Todd Noyes, certified hybrid consultant.

The kinetic energy when the car breaks recharges the battery in the rear of the car. You never have to plug this car in to recharge it.

With gas prices steadily increasing, finding the hybrid vehicles is getting more difficult. Fairway Toyota sells the Prius hybrid and can't keep them on the lot. They also have a waiting list for the Toyota Highlander SUV, the next hybrid SUV which is expected out in the next several months.

posted by jennifer.emert@walb.com