US Hybrids Save Half Billion Gallons of Gas a Year

Hybrid cars sold in the US are now saving almost 500 million gallons of petroleum a year, a pretty impressive number, according to the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab.

That’s thanks mostly to Toyota’s Prius, which still accounts for 70% of US hybrid sales – about 327,000 last year.  

Since the Prius debuted in 2000 – when just 5,562 sold in the first six months – 2 million have been bought, and hybrids now make up 4% of US auto sales.

Hybrids now make up 16% of Toyota’s sales, both in the US and around the world.

In fact, last month, Toyota sold its 5 millionth hybrid.

About 1.2 million sold worldwide last year, the first time Toyota crossed the million threshold in one year.

About 17% of all vehicles sold in Japan last year were hybrids; three-quarters were made by Toyota – 678,000 cars.

China, the world’s biggest car market, still lags on hybrid sales, with only 17,300 sold last year (2% of total sales).

Toyota estimates that its global hybrid fleet has prevented 34 million tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere and saved owners more than 3 billion gallons of gasoline.         

Currently, Toyota makes 19 hybrid models and one plug-in hybrid and 12 of these are available in the US.
Between now and the end of 2015, Toyota will introduce 18 additional models.

The smallest car of Toyota’s new Prius family, the Prius C is the greenest car of 2012.

For 2012, hybrids were the fastest growing segment of US automotive sales, with close to 440,000 sold. The Prius hit the big time, now the third top selling car in the world.

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