One step ahead with hybrid vehicles

Monday, June 30, 2008

From an article by Roberto Michel in the Wisconsin State Journal:

For a business in which gasoline is like life's blood, Barnes Inc. could be hurting much worse than it is, according to Mark Barnes, president and CEO of the Madison-based landscaping, lawn maintenance, and snow removal company.

Barnes credits his company's ability to cope with high gas costs to steps taken years ago, such as changing its fleet of sales vehicles to hybrid sedans.

In 2006, the company replaced the pickup trucks used by sales people with Toyota Prius hybrids and now has 14 Prius sedans, which get better than twice the mileage of the pickups.

"We bought them in 2006, not necessarily with the anticipation that gas was going to be creeping up on $4 a gallon, but with the savings to us then, " Barnes said.

Other businesses also have made major changes to their vehicle fleets. Jim Hirsch, president of Paul Davis Restoration of Lakeland Counties, Cottage Grove, said he began buying Prius sedans back in 2004 to replace conventional pickups and sedans used for sales and project management.