2012 Toyota Prius vEnlarge Photo
Ask most Americans to name a place in the U.S. where hybrid cars are popular, and they’ll probably name somewhere in California, the Pacific Northwest, or Washington D.C.
Now the city of Boulder, Colorado is keen to let the world know it also wants to be known for its hybrid-loving population.
Double The National Average
According to the Boulder Daily Camera, 4.8 percent of all new car registrations in the city during 2011 were hybrids.
For the record, that’s the same market share that hybrids had in Los Angeles during 2009, and almost double the 2.2 percent for the whole U.S. during 2011.
Admittedly, the population of the city of Boulder is not even one-fortieth of the population of the city of Los Angeles, but that doesn’t change the simple facts: Boulder is more hybrid-friendly than your average U.S. city.
Charging socket on 2007 Toyota Prius plug-in conversionEnlarge Photo
Of the 2,884 hybrid cars sold in the city of Boulder, 2,148 were Toyotas.
That's hardly susprising, since Toyota produces more hybrid cars than any other automaker.
Interestingly, Boulder Hybrid Conversions -- one of the few firms in the U.S. who convert standard Toyota Priuses into plug-in hybrids -- are based in the city, making us wonder if there are more plug-in hybrids in the city of Boulder than there are in an average American city.
We wouldn't be surprised: with very few electric cars available to buy in Colorado, a plug-in hybrid conversion is a good car for electric car fans to own while they wait for cars like the 2012 Nissan Leaf, 2012 Mitsubishi i and 2012 Ford Focus to go on sale in their city.
Boulder Hybrid Conversions isn’t the only company in the city devoted to hybrid cars either. According to the Boulder Daily Camera, there are at least two other garages listed in the city as specializing in eco-friendly green car repairs and sales.
Snow No Problem
Given the number of people who claim that the Toyota Prius isn’t capable of driving in the snow without suffering major traction control issues, you’d think that Colorado isn’t necessarily the ideal place for a hybrid to live.
Toyota Prius in the snowEnlarge Photo
After all, Boulder gets an average 84 inches of snowfall every year, not to mention average temperatures well below freezing in winter months.
But it appears with appropriate tires and expertise, Boulderite hybrids do just fine in winter months.
A Need To Protect?
Perhaps Boulder’s liberal political leanings and generous green vehicle tax incentives have helped turn Boulder into a hybrid-friendly city.
But we can’t help but wonder if its location -- nestled in-between the Great Plains and the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains -- has a part to play as well.
After all, if your city had over 36,000 acres of recreational open space, nature reserves and conservations sites, wouldn’t you want to drive a greener car to help preserve it for future generations too?