June 25, 2007
Department of Energy says hybrids have saved 5.5 million barrels of oil
Chevrolet Volt concept. Click image to enlarge
Washington, D.C. – A report from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) says that hybrid-electric vehicles have saved close to 230 million gallons (approximately 871 million litres), or 5.5 million barrels of fuel in the U.S. since their introduction in 1999.
“Sales of hybrid-electric vehicles have increased an average of 72 per cent for the past five years, and in 2006, the average fuel economy based on new EPA estimates was 35 mpg (6.7 L/100 km) for new hybrid models sold in the U.S.,” says Kevin Bennion, a vehicle systems analysis research engineer with NREL.
In 2006, the average fuel economy improvement for hybrid-electric vehicles over conventional vehicles was approximately 45 per cent. However, even with this improvement, hybrids would have to replace a significant portion of the total light-duty fleet to have an impact on petroleum imports. In 2003, the country’s net imports of oil were 11.24 million barrels per day; of that, 8.55 million barrels went to light-duty vehicle use.