The world of technology is changing fast.
When I was young, it was not uncommon for tradespeople to use a horse and cart for local deliveries around town.
Now, we have trains that ride on a magnetic field, jet aircraft and hybrid cars.
The idea of a hybrid is quite fascinating.
As a gardner, to be able to take two different species and create something new with the best qualities of both.
As a technologist, to be able to take a conventional internal combustion engine and combine it with electric motors.
It's like a marriage.
When the two components work well together, they are strong.
If there's disharmony, breakdown follows close behind.
So what's driving this hybrid technology? The main reason is fuel economy.
Gas prices have been rising fast with the $4 gallon reached and passed.
Although some prefer to play around with biofuels to keep conventional engines running on greener fuel, the better strategy looks to use less fuel.
It's now not uncommon for hybrid vehicles to achieve 50 mpg - a big improvement on the SUVs and Hummers.
The retail prices have been quite high as the first of these new cars rolled out on to the public roads so, to encourage the switch to this more eco-friendly technology, there have been various federal and state tax incentives.
Some states have been giving priority in the use of parking spaces or reductions in tolls.
All these add up to big savings, which get even bigger when you look at the auto insurance industry.
Many of the companies offering auto insurance have been offering a discount of up to 10% for those using the new technology.
Using a site like this is the best way of shopping around to find out which company is offering the best rates.
This is not a corporate policy to combat global warming.
It reflects the reality that those who buy hybrid cars are more thoughtful and careful, buying a vehicle that is slightly less powerful than the conventional car, and one that will probably not be driven quite as many miles in a year as the conventional car.
People who drive less powerful cars more slowly have fewer accidents and so justify lower premiums.
It's sad that Detroit chose to stay with the gas-guzzler as the main product line.
The big three U.
car producers are facing an uncertain future as the hybrids grow more popular.
If they survive the economic downturn, hopefully they can retool and compete in delivering this new technology.
Until then, imported cars save money both at the gas pump and in reduced auto insurance premiums.
They are a good buy.