• Jun 15th 2010 at 5:10PM
  • 14
The exact amount of oil that is still spewing into the Gulf of Mexico from BP's broken tap is a number under some dispute, but the mess could be increasing at a rate of a million gallons a day. Or, as the WaPo put it, "roughly one Valdez spill every week." So, how much gasoline has been wasted by all that oil escaping into the ocean? One way to measure it is the way Green Car Reports did: by asking how many Toyota Prius hybrids would you need to sell to offset the loss? Their answer: almost a million Priuses a day.

The number comes from these calculations:
  • On gallon of crude = about a half gallon of gasoline, so the spill is wasting 500,000 gallons a day.
  • An average U.S. car goes 10,000 miles a year and gets, say, 25 miles per gallon.
  • A 50 mpg Prius, by comparison, uses 200 fewer gallons a year than those average cars, which saves .55 gallons a day.
Thus, 912,500 Priuses need to be sold every day to make up the mess. Toyota has sold a lot of Priuses, but 900,000 a day? Not gonna happen. Maybe we can all drive 20 percent less to make up the difference? That's the suggestion of Jason Henderson, a geography professor at San Francisco State University, who gives his detailed reasons why and how here.

[Source: Green Car Reports, Washington Post | Image: IBRRC - C.C. License 2.0]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      If the true effects of supply and demand was taking place, gas prices would be skyrocketing now. That is, the supply of gas is being decreased because of all the oil leaking into the gulf, yet demand remains the same.

      But since the oil companies (or specifically BP) are at fault here, they wouldn't dare raise gas prices as to prevent a major consumer backlash.
        • 5 Years Ago
        There is no decrease in the gas supply. The Deepwater Horizon was drilling an exploratory well, not a production well. This well was not producing any oil yet.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Okay, this is just inane.

      How about some real news, instead of this filler material.. thanx.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think the math is a little off:

      A: 500,000 gallons a day- OK
      B: 50 mpg Prius, by comparison, uses 200 fewer gallons a year than those average cars.

      If you figure that a Prius will last 10 years on average (for round numbers)- that's 2000 gallons saved per Prius over its lifetime. Therefore, you need to sell 250 Prius per day to offset the oil lost in that day of the spill. That rate comes out to 91,250 per year, which is less than Prius sales over the past year.

      The conclusions of this artcle are only correct if the car has a 1 day lifespan.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Math will be the undoing of us all.... (all of us who prefer shock value over logic or truth).

        ABG needs to get their heads out of their a$$es. It is a shame when internet comments on a blog are smarter than the so-called journalists.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Exactly. This article is a math fail.

        1,000,000 Prius save as much gas EACH DAY is this leak spill EACH DAY.
        • 5 Years Ago
        And this is from the "editor-in-chief".

        Sigh... can we get a retraction please?
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's what I say. The calculation is way off.
      • 5 Years Ago
      just a couple of birds

      still...a good reminder that the energy business, as it is now, is often pretty dirty and much wildlife downstream from coal pits, next to tar sands, etc never gets a photo, let alone some humans working to help them survive the harm we put them in
      • 5 Years Ago
      Now is the time when EV clubs and organizations need to get the word out and in the public view show that EV's can be practial in the real world. Not with NEV's or tiny two seaters. I know this may upset some but what the public needs to see are cars like converted pickups you see at most EV clubs or surviving electric RAV 4's and new cars like the Leaf and the electric GM SUV and sports cars from AMP.

      Suv's dispite everything are the "American dream machine" and a lot of publicity for a small SUV that costs with "current technology and no economy of scale" maybe $15,000 more than its gas equilivant (not considering fuel cost savings over the life of the vechicle) might get people thinking these cars can be practical.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think the title should reflect that it's a million Priuses PER DAY.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Try the math with the nissan leaf instead.

      • 5 Years Ago
      HOLY F#$%!!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yea, somebody needs to do this type of calculation with the C02 from an average volcano to see if cap&trade makes any real sense or is it really just about dollars and power.
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