According to the Department of Energy”s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Hybrid cars and trucks have saved 230 million gallons of gasoline or about 5.5 million barrels since their introduction in the US in 1999. While that may sound significant, US, at the same time, was importing 8.5 million barrels of oil a day to fuel cars and light trucks.
However, the savings continue to increase as Americans become more environmentally conscious and are looking to more compact and fuel-efficient vehicles.
“Sales of hybrid electric vehicles have increased an average of 72 percent a year for the past five years and in 2006 the average fuel economy based on new EPA estimates was 35 miles per gallon for new hybrid models sold in the U.S.,” said Kevin Bennion, an NREL vehicle systems analysis research engineer.
To determine the amount of fuel savings, researchers combined hybrid electric vehicle sales and fuel economy data.
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