The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday to begin buying hybrid vehicles, according to a Copley News Service report. The gas-electric vehicles will replace non-emergency vehicles such as those used by building inspectors, social workers and administrative staff as they drive between job sites. The report did not state the number of hybrids to be bought. The plan comes with stipulations. County employees would have to switch to hybrids only if a hybrid vehicle large enough to suit their needs is available. The policy does not lock them into buying hybrids if the cars become too expensive, or if the county must wait several months to receive the vehicles. The city of Los Angeles runs a fleet of 3,421 cars, trucks and vans. The Internal Services Department looks after the county's non-emergency vehicles, including its 786 sedans. Internal Services Department Director Dave Lambertson noted that hybrids can cost anywhere from about $2,500 to $6,000 more than their gas-only counterparts, but, Lambertson said, "you make it back in the fuel savings and the maintenance costs." The motion cited federal research that found that hybrid drivers pay an average of $8,000 less overall after five years of ownership. The Copley News Service report did not state which research the figure was derived from. County officials hope to start buying hybrid sedans by next summer.