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Greener Machines

If fuel economy is what you need, a hybrid could be the answer.

This story appears in the February 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Does 60 miles per gallon appeal to your budget? Then check out this year's hybrids. While the Honda Insight two-seater and Toyota Prius midsize sedan are currently available, Ford's Escape Hybrid SUV is due in showrooms late this summer, and Lexus' luxury RX400h will be available in late fall.

What's the attraction? Significant savings at the pump. These gasoline/electric-powered vehicles boast high mileage, run up to 90 percent cleaner than standard-powered vehicles, and need less maintenance. And you don't have to plug them in to an outlet nightly to recharge as you do with electric cars. The downside? A hybrid can cost $2,000 to $10,000 more than a comparable conventional vehicle, according to the Department of Energy.

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