Hybrids draw crowds at Twin Cities Auto Show

11:27 PM, Mar 13, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - Half-price Wednesday brought in big crowds at the Twin Cities Auto Show and many were taking a look at another potential deal-saver in the auto industry -- hybrid vehicles.

"I'm probably getting about 23 miles to gallon or something," Quentin Smisek told KARE 11 as he cruised through the show's "Green Room."

"It's one of our more popular attractions," said Scott Lambert of the Greater Metropolitan Automobile Dealers Association.

Smisek did more than pause as he looked at the window stickers announcing miles per gallon.

"This would double my mileage. That'd be worth it," he said looking at a Toyota on display.

Lambert says the days of hybrids as niche vehicles are coming to a close.

"Now, there are hybrids all over the show. Virtually every brand has a hybrid," Lambert said.

Also grabbing some parking spaces in the "Green Room" were the biodiesel vehicles. Lisa Pedderson of MEG CORP Fuel Consulting said the vehicles are environmentally friendly, local business friendly, and hold great resale value.

"Biodiesel is costing less now, in the last few years, because we're making more of it. There's more demand," Pedderson said.

The biggest crowd we found on the showroom floor was centered at the 2013 Chevy Volt, which is selling for $40,000 to $44,000.

"That's your mileage on pure electric," Merit Chevy of Maplewood Salesman Mike Salmon said, pointing at a chart. "Ninety-eight miles per gallon is what they're estimating. It costs about a dollar a day to charge it."

Salmon says it's a simple as plugging in your phone. He told auto-show-goers that when the battery gets down to about 20 percent, the car grabs some gas.

"We had a guy come into the dealership last week. He's been in one for 11 months and he just put his second tank of gas in it," Salmon said.

Auto dealers are saying fuel efficiency seems to be generating a big buzz right now and they're arguing that turning green can save you some serious greenbacks in the long run.

"You're watching the industry evolve," Lambert said.

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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