Owning a hybrid vehicle could pay off.
WASHINGTON - Congress today will examine ways to entice more people to buy and use hybrid vehicles as the list of government-issued perks to gas-electric hybrid owners grows longer. States and cities around the nation have been offering everything from free parking to the use of car pool lanes for solo drivers as long as they're behind the wheel of a hybrid. They're also offering tax breaks, discounts and other financial incentives. The goal is to push drivers toward hybrids, which cost as much as $5,000 more than gasoline-only versions of the same models. It could take years to recoup the additional costs through reduced gasoline costs alone. However, hybrid vehicle sales continue to grow as gas prices climb above $3 a gallon.