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How Many Priuses Would Offset the Gulf Oil Spill?

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

So how much oil is escaping each day from the Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico? According to estimates late last week, that could be One Million Gallons a day. That’s a lot of Oil, Brother…priuses

Whats an altruistic way to maybe compensate for the problem?  How about, how many  Toyota Prius Hybrids would need to be sold in order to offset the oil loss?

  • Looks like there would have to be almost 1 million Priuses sold globally to conserve enough gasoline to offset the amount wasted as the escaping oil pours into the oceans and damages our beautiful beaches.

Here’s what the Math is based on to calculate what it would take to compensate just for the lost gasoline related to the daily oil loss.

  • Anonymous oil-industry experts suggest one gallon of unrefined light crude, the kind the Deepwater Horizon produced, provides half a gallon of gasoline, or perhaps a little more.
  • So that’s 500,000 gallons a day we need to save.
  • If the average U.S. car drives 10,000 miles a year at 25 miles per gallon (to make the math easy), then the 50-MPG  Prius saves 200 gallons of gasoline per year. Or 0.55 gallons per day.
  • So you’d have to sell 912,500 Priuses, each of them saving a little over half a gallon of gasoline a day, to offset the loss of half a million gallons every day.

But Toyota doesn’t make anything close to that number of Prius Cars right now. In fact, in 2009, the Company sold 139,682 Priuses in the United States, out of a total of approximately195,000. 

Until the end of this year, the total annual  production is capped at 500,000 by constraints in the supply of nickel-metal-hydride battery packs used by the cars to store energy.

This is too bad. After all,…  we wouldn’t want Obama’s enemy from a few months back to be the source that saves his new found enemy today, now would we?