PARKERSBURG - With the price of gasoline hovering near $4 per gallon again, many consumers are looking for alternatives to transportation powered by gasoline.
Locally many dealers have cars that use a hybrid model with a gasoline engine and electric motor or fully electric that can plug into a household outlet.
Savannah Jeffers, Internet sales manager at Superior Toyota and Hyundai, said while Toyota is known for the Prius hybrids they recently added a hybrid to the Camry line.
Some the hybrid cars available at Superior Toyota Hyundai are, from left, the Hyundai Sonata, the Toyota Prius C, the Prius and the Camry. (Photo by Jeffrey Saulton)
Jeffers said one thing that works against hybrids is many local residents are in rural areas and hybrids might not be a good idea because of distance.
"It is more likely to see them in the urban areas," she said. "Plug in batteries are seen big cities where many might not even own a car. Many have long commute here."
In the Prius line the C and V models have been introduced. She said the V is a larger wagon style and the C is a smaller model to target to a younger group.
"Not only does the C have a great price tag it has all amenities with fuel economy," she said. "V is for versatile and is more for families or businesses commutes."
Jeffers said the Camry line and Hyundai Sonata hybrid are alternatives to a gasoline only engine with 40 mpg with both and 30 in town.
Jeffers said in the future Toyota is looking forward making more advanced models electric.
"Years ago people laughed at hybrids but now they have longer life spans and warranties," she said. "Both companies are spending money on technology and more and more they are seen as versatile, not just small compacts."
Jay Justice, sales manager of Superior Hyundai, said since the Hyundai is new there has not been as much demand for the product like there is for Toyota.
"It has been on the market for a short time," he said. "The Sonata is a very good car, a top seller, It's just that hybrid is new and the public is not aware of it yet."
Justice said they have sold all they had and have received more. Justice said the typical customer for the car is in the mid to mid to late 40s and 50 plus.
"For families and retirees trying to pinch a penny, it seems to be a good fit for them.
Todd Bishop , sales manager at Family Ford Lincoln in Marietta, said there is not a large demand for hybrids and electric cars in the area.
"If you look at the city mileage, they do well," he said. "But in the type driving done around here they are not much better than normal vehicles.
Bishop said the Fusion and Escape and an electric Focus get up toe100 mpg and Lincoln has a hybrid model of the MKX.
Kim Hodge, salesman at Pioneer Chevrolet Cadillac, in Marietta, said there has been demand for the Chevrolet Volt locally.
"We have had quite bit of demand and we've sold three; but the Volt is not in stock right now.
"We have people who are interested and want to let them know when we get new Volts."
Hodge said the Volt is back in production since the publicized test crash problem has been fixed.
"The problem was they let the vehicle sit outside for three weeks. When water got in the battery through a door that was left open, water in battery caused the fire."
Hodge said the Volt is a true electric since it only has a gasoline powered generator on board to supply power to the electric motor.
"The car. runs on electric," he said. "It could run on gasoline forever but if someone lives in Parkersburg or Marietta and commutes to the other, they might not have to use the gasoline generator."
Hodge said the car can recharge on 110 volts allowing it to plug into any household outlet and has an optional 220-volt charger for faster charge times.