She: Oh, yeah. We have lots of hybrids. But not full hybrids.
Me: [silent, puzzled]
She: You know, they still need gas.
Me: [not sure I heard correctly] But … isn’t that what a hybrid car is? Gas and electric?
She: I mean, they’re hybrid but not completely electric.
Are there varying stages of hybridity out there? Not that I’m aware of, but then I’m often the last to know.
I wondered whether for her, and maybe for a whole cohort of younger drivers, “hybrid” had lost its original “combination-of-two-things” meaning and now signifies “less than 100 percent gas-powered.” Or, perhaps, just “nontraditional in some nonspecific way.”
I haven’t rented a car in about half a decade. Maybe next time I’ll wander into the storefront, point to something Mopar, and ask “That thing got a Hemione?”