The drivers in this rally wont bespeeding,but they will be racing to get the word out on hybrid-electric vehicles.

West Virginia University is recruiting owners of the ultra-efficient vehicles to drive from Morgantown to Charleston Friday, April 2, to show the state and the country that saving energy and the environment can be as simple as slipping behind the wheel.

The first-everHybrid-Electric Rallyis being staged by WVU s National Research Center for Coal and Energy to turn the headlights on hybrid vehicles already being built by major car makers.

Hybrid makes and models to date include the Toyota Prius, and the Insight and Civic Hybrid, two alternative-fuel versions from Honda.

The rally is part of West Virginias participation in the 2004 National Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Day Odyssey, which is being staged to herald the coming of hybrids to mainstream consumers in the years ahead.

Theres no charge to drive in the rally that begins in the morning in Morgantown and ends in the evening in Charleston. Drivers will stop at various high schools and other locales along Interstate 79 to show off their cars and to talk to the curious.

And that, state administrator David Bassage says, is where the real rally comes in.

Bassage, an administrator in the Office of Innovation housed in the state Division of Environmental Protection, serves on the committee organizing the event. On April 2, hell exchange his briefcase for a pair of driving gloves when he drives his Prius in the rally.

Some people have never heard of hybrid vehicles,Bassage said.This event is an opportunity to show people how feasible hybrid transportation can really be. It will show that these cars really do support a sustainable philosophy for transportation.

While registration is free, openings in the rally may be limited. For details and to register, visit West Virginias Odyssey Web site: