The number of hybrid vehicles sold in Israel has seen a significant rise in 2007, reveals data compiled by the country's Air Quality Division of the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

Sales for this year to date have doubled those totalled for 2006, jumping dramatically from 521 at the close of last year to 1200 purchased at present, due in part to the promotion of reduced purchase taxes on these cars. Such tax breaks were introduced by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, in co-operation with the Ministry of Finance, as an incentive to make hybrid vehicles a more attractive prospect to consumers.

Hybrid cars are currently the cleanest cars imported into Israel, in terms of air pollution emissions, and such increase in sales may be seen as a step in the direction of alternative fuel sources and an eventual hydrogen economy.