Ok. Maybe I am obsessed about this issue, but it amazes me how in a relatively short amount of time in a relatively small geographic area, there are what seems like hundreds of Toyota Prius owners. First off, I don't own one, but I have started to notice them more.
Unless you have been living under a rock you know about the explosion of gas and electric 'hybrid' cars coming on the market. Of all the cars like this, it seems like the Prius is the most purchased, at least on the San Francisco Peninsula.
Here's an example of what I am talking about. About two weeks ago, I took a ride with two co-workers (in one of their Prius -- or Prii -- There is some debate on the plural version of Prius) from our offices in downtown Palo Alto to the California Avenue area. This is about a two mile, four minute drive. Along this ride, we passed at least six Prius, not counting the one that was parked in the garage of our building that belonged to the other co-worker!
I've noticed this more and more as I have driven around the Bay Area, so I told my wife about this. She said she hadn't noticed it too much but once I told her, she really started noticing the same thing I did!
Here's another example... On Wednesday afternoon, I drove from Palo Alto to the coast and back home. I started counting Prius as I drove. Before I even left the city limits of Palo Alto, I was up to 10. I started keeping tally on a piece of paper not to loose count. By the time I arrived home that evening, I was well over 30!
So, what is it about these things? They aren't cheap (about $30k with all the fixings). Is it the mileage? The 'green' aspect? I don't know, but I'm very curious.