By MICHAEL CANTU
Are high gas prices burning a hole in your wallet? Then maybe it’s a good time to consider a hybrid vehicle. Hybrids gain improved fuel efficiency thanks to specialized powertrains that combine a gas engine with at least one electric motor that’s powered by a battery pack that does not need to be plugged in. In many cases, the price difference between hybrid and non-hybrid models is small enough that the hybrid will pay for itself or save you money after just a few years of ownership.