2011 Toyota PriusEnlarge Photo
Sometime early last week, someone somewhere in the U.S. bought a hybrid car.
And while we may never know exactly who that person was, the car was the 2-millionth hybrid-electric vehicle sold here since the very first Honda Insight went on sale in late 1999.
Industry trade journal Ward's Auto calculated from its sales data that the milestone was crossed within the first week of June.
The first 1 million hybrids were sold by 2008, indicating a much quicker pace of sales as hybrid production grows and gas prices rise.
Odds are that that 2-millionth hybrid car was a 2011 Toyota Prius, since a majority of the 3 million hybrids it has sold have been Priuses. Global sales of all Prius models passed 2 million last October.
In the States, Toyota has sold more than 1.0 million Prius models in three generations since the first one went on sale in 2000.
2012 Honda Civic Hybrid, road test, Spring 2011Enlarge Photo
The second best-selling hybrid in the U.S. has been the Honda Civic Hybrid, whose sales have totaled 192,800 since 2003. The newest generation, sold as the 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid, went on sale last month.
For perspective, during the same 11-year period in which 2 million hybrids have been sold, total vehicle sales in the U.S. were more than 150 million.
For the last couple of years, hybrids have run at between 2 and 3 percent of U.S. vehicle sales.
Several hybrids have come and gone from the U.S. market, incidentally. The latest to depart is the Nissan Altima Hybrid, which won't be sold after the current model year.