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Where Do Hybrids, Diesels Sell Best? State-By-State Data Shows Answers


2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid

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If you happen to buy a new hybrid or diesel car, where are you most likely to see another one facing you across a four-way intersection?

The Diesel Technology Forum--a trade group that represent diesel manufacturers--today released data on the top states for diesel and hybrid vehicle sales.

After tallying new diesel and hybrid car, SUV, pickup truck, and van registrations between 2010 and 2013, it found that California has the largest combined fleet--with 609,212 diesels and 698,560 hybrids, for a total of 1.3 million such vehicles (out of 32.9 million registered vehicles on its roads).

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2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel, Catskill Mountains, NY, Jan 2014

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel, Catskill Mountains, NY, Jan 2014

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California's first-place finish isn't exactly shocking, considering that the Toyota Prius hybrid family was the most popular car line in the state for both 2012 and 2013.

Next was Texas, which actually surpassed the Golden State with 837,426 diesel-vehicle registrations, but lagged when it came to hybrids. There were 153,557 hybrids registered in Texas during the period studied, bringing the total to 990,983.

Florida came in third, with 314,228 diesels and 150,885 hybrids, for a combined total of 465,113.

Washington state, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, North Carolina, Georgia, and Ohio rounded out the top 10.

But absolute numbers, while interesting, aren't a good indication of relative popularity. When you shift to percentage of diesel and hybrid vehicles, the list changes dramatically.

Wyoming had the highest percentage of diesels and hybrids; they make up 11.27 percent of the state's new-vehicle registrations. Montana had the second-highest percentage (8.79 percent), followed by Idaho (7.63 percent).

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2014 Toyota Prius C

2014 Toyota Prius C

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These states were followed by Oregon, Alaska, North Dakota, Utah, South Dakota, New Mexico, and Washington in the rankings.

The high proportions in those states, many of them sparsely populated with long distances between destinations, are likely due to diesel pickup trucks and--with the exception of Oregon and Washington--likely not so much due to hybrid sales.

Researchers also tracked the growth of the diesel and hybrid segments separately.

The data shows that new hybrid registrations increased by 64.6 percent between 2010 and 2013, while diesel registrations saw an 11.5-percent increase.

That's fairly impressive against the 1.6-percent increase recorded for the car industry as a whole.

Researchers didn't break hybrid sales growth down by region. But they did find that the fastest-growing diesel states and regions were North Dakota, the District of Columbia, and Illinois--which saw registrations increase by 24.1 percent, 15.9 percent, and 13.6 percent, respectively, from 2012 to 2013.

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