Rising gas prices have many considering hybrid cars

MILWAUKEE -- As gas prices soar, many people on the prowl for a new car are thinking about investing in a hybrid, and several hybrids are highlighted at the Greater Milwaukee Auto Show, going on at the Frontier Airlines Center in downtown Milwaukee through this weekend.

Gas mileage is important to car shoppers as the rise in gas prices has an drastic impact on wallets. "I think with the gas prices the way they are, we definitely should be looking at a hybrid at this point in time," car shopper Jon Simons said.

The Greater Milwaukee Auto Show is featuring many of these fuel-efficient vehicles as car manufacturers see an increase in demand. "I think now, people are seeing this is going to be a trend that continues. Gas prices are going to continue to rise. So I think other manufacturers are stepping it up as well," Toyota Products Specialist Chris Petschler said.

Whether they were looking to buy or browse, many of those at the Greater Milwaukee Auto Show are asking about hybrids. "At least half of the people are asking about fuel efficiency, asking about hybrids, which cars get the best gas mileage. Even if they're not interested in a hybrid, they'll still ask about gas mileage," Petschler said.

Although hybrids can cost thousands more than a standard vehicle, Toyota officials say the savings make the investment worth it. While the Corolla can get up to 36 miles per gallon, the Prius can get up to 50 miles per gallon.

"With the hybrid, you are using the gas engine less because it's going to go onto electric power whenever it can. Even going highway speeds it's using both the gas combustion engine and the electric motor, so that's making the engine work less hard," Petschler said.

The ultimate goal of just about everybody is saving some green while getting where they need to go.

The Greater Milwaukee Auto Show runs through Sunday, March 4th.