Green machine tackles Truckee’s white winters
As winter storms start dumping snow on the roads around Truckee, the benefits of driving a truck or sport utility vehicle become more and more apparent.With ice and snow on the roads, a vehicle with four-wheel drive and sufficient ground clearance to navigate the berms left by the town’s snow plows can be a local’s best friend. Unfortunately, the convenience of an SUV or large truck is offset by the price you pay at the pump, as these vehicles typically weigh considerably more than an average car and get some of the worst gas mileage on the road.For years, Truckee drivers looking for a more environmentally friendly and fuel efficient option turned to Subarus or other four-wheel-drive cars instead of an SUV or truck, but now there is another option
Ford recently released its new Escape Hybrid SUV – a small SUV with both a gasoline engine and an electric motor that uses both power sources to boost gas mileage to an advertised 33 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway.And Aaron Revere, the director of environmental initiatives for East West Partners, may be the first Truckee resident to get one.”I think it’s a great Truckee vehicle,” he said of his new company car. “It’s got room for the dogs, it’s got room to carry people around. I can drive it to work and then go off-road and play if I need to.”And how does the Escape Hybrid handle in the snow?
“The vehicle is doing great. We’ve had all these snow storms and I live up in Tahoe Donner and haven’t had any problems,” Revere said.Long an advocate for hybrid vehicles, Revere had been driving a Honda Civic Hybrid around town for the past two years. But living without four-wheel-drive was difficult during Truckee’s winters.So far, he said, the Escape Hybrid has been getting approximately 32 mpg and handles as well as a typical SUV. Revere hopes that others in the Truckee area will look at hybrid technology for their own personal or business vehicles in the future:
“To some degree, even if I’m getting one mile per gallon better right now… just buying and driving the hybrid helps support the cause to get these car companies to build more hybrids,” he said, adding, “Don’t shy away from hybrid technology. When a car comes out that meets your needs and is a hybrid, by all means get it.”Soon Truckee drivers may have even more options when it comes to hybrid vehicles as Toyota Motor Corporation will offer hybrid versions of the Toyota Highlander and Lexus RX400 SUVs for model year 2005, and General Motors Corporation gears up to make hybrid models of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks available to consumers.For more information on gas mileage and hybrid vehicles go to http://www.fueleconomy.gov.
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