Commentary

Hybrids everywhere

Ford Motor Co., the second-largest U.S. automaker, began taking orders yesterday for a hybrid version of its Mercury Mariner sport-utility vehicle a year earlier than planned in response to increased interest. The vehicle follows the Ford Escape Hybrid SUV, which was introduced last fall. Production of the Mariner will begin in October, with 2,000 vehicles available in the first model year. The company expects to double production the following year … The Mariner hybrid gets 33 miles per gallon in the city and 29 miles per gallon on the highway, a 50 percent improvement over the base vehicle, according to Ford. The vehicle sells at a base price of $29,840, while the traditional version with standard trim starts at $22,040.

Whole article is here. The Post also compiled the following list of hybrids that are on the market now or will be soon. Ford Escape SUV Mariner SUV To be introduced over the next three years: Mazda Tribute SUV Ford Fusion Mercury Milan Toyota Prius Highlander SUV Lexus RX SUV Honda Civic Accord General Motors Hybrid bus Chevrolet Silverado pickup (starter hybrid system) GMC Sierra pickup (starter hybrid system) Saturn Vue SUV (“mild” hybrid) — to be introduced at end of 2006 To be introduced in 2007: Chevrolet Malibu (“mild” hybrid) Chevrolet Tahoe SUV GMC Yukon SUV DaimlerChrysler DaimlerChrysler expects to start selling hybrid vehicles in late 2007 or early 2008. For more on hybrids, go here and here.

Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.