50-mpg hybrid car bought by county for environmental official

January 10, 2003

An Anne Arundel County official, Robert L. Walker, got a new county car this week: a Honda Civic Hybrid, which uses gasoline-electric technology to get nearly 50 miles per gallon.

It's the first hybrid car bought by the county, which plans to buy two more and evaluate their performance. It cost about $19,000, said Matt Diehl, a spokesman for County Executive Janet S. Owens.

"We are taking a small but important step to improve air quality by encouraging others to consider low-emission, fuel-efficient vehicles," said Owens, who is driven around in a Ford Crown Victoria. A 2002 Crown Victoria gets 18 to 25 miles per gallon.

Walker is the county's land use and environmental officer.

Maryland residents who buy hybrid vehicles get a $2,000 federal income tax credit and do not pay the state's 5 percent retail income tax on the purchase.

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