Hawaii, the land of sun, sea, sand and surfing.

Green transport, too, according to the latest sales figures emerging from the islands. In fact, hybrids and electric cars are selling so well in the state they almost matched 2011's figures in the first five months of this year.

We've already speculated that islands could be the most likely homes for electric cars, with higher-than-average gas prices and smaller road networks. In the case of Hawaii, there's plenty of potential for green energy from solar, hydro or geothermal power too.

But hybrids are popular too, with 1,044 sold in the first five months of 2012, compared to 1,342 in total over 2011. There have also been 94 electric cars sold in that period, compared to 307 across 2011. Combined, writes Pacific Business News, that's nearly 70 percent of 2011's total, in the first five months of 2012.

Naturally, those are lower sales figures than in many other U.S. states, but the increase in sales is higher than that in other places.

Hawaii's best year for hybrids was 2006, with 1,749 total sales. The recession knocked this figure down, but the latest wave of hybrid and electric vehicles seems to be tempting customers back. By 2017, Hawaii is expected to have more than 14,000 plug-in vehicles. That may not be as high as estimates for California, but it'll represent a greater percentage of total vehicle sales.

As gas prices rise and more makers release hybrid and electric cars, those sales are only going to go one way from now on.


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