EVs And PHEVs Gaining Ground

The states of California, Florida and Washington rank among America’s top consumers of hybrid and electric vehicles, reports Edmunds.com.

Edmunds.com’s analysis of new car registration data by Polk finds that 1.9 percent of all new hybrid vehicles sold so far in the U.S. this year were registered in Oregon, ranking the state 16th in the nation. This rate is more than twice the state’s share of all new car registrations in the U.S., where Oregon ranks 31st overall at 0.9 percent. The Beaver State also buys a higher proportion of the country’s electric vehicles (1.8 percent), ranking 17th in the nation.

The same analysis finds that 3.5 percent of all new electric vehicles sold so far this year in the U.S. were registered in New York. This rate is about half the state’s share of all new car registrations in the U.S., where New York ranks 4th overall at 6.9 percent. The Empire State also buys a lower proportion of the country’s hybrid vehicles (5.0 percent).

Further analysis finds that 0.5 percent of all new hybrid vehicles sold so far in the U.S. this year were registered in Louisiana, ranking the state 37th in the nation. This rate is just one-third of the state’s share of all new car registrations in the U.S., where Louisiana ranks 21st overall at 1.5 percent. The Pelican State also buys a lower proportion of the country’s electric vehicles (0.4 percent), ranking 32nd in the nation.

The news comes in what’s shaping up to be the strongest year yet for alternative fuel vehicles nationwide. Edmunds.com found that 3.4 percent of new car registrations this year (through August) were hybrid or electric vehicles, which is a full percentage point higher than the rate of 2.4 percent for all of 2011.

The leader state-wise with 32 percent of all new electric vehicles and 24.7 percent of all new hybrid vehicles sold so far in the U.S. this year is California, ranking the state first in the nation in both categories. The rates far exceed the state’s share of all new car registrations in the U.S., where California also ranks first overall at 11.1 percent, year to date.

5.7 percent of all new electric vehicles sold so far in the U.S. this year were registered in Washington, ranking the state third behind California (32.0 percent) and Florida (6.6 percent).

“Mainstream car buyers have been slow to accept hybrid and electric vehicles, but the numbers are trending up, and you can almost hear a sigh of relief from automakers who made big bets on these vehicles,” said Edmunds.com Sr. Analyst Jessica Caldwell. “As more alt-fuel vehicles come to the market and as prices for these cars become more affordable, we expect a higher percentage of shoppers will at least consider an alternative fuel vehicle the next time they’re buying a new car.”

According to Edmunds.com, at least 43 all-new conventional hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery-electric vehicles, diesels and fuel-cell electric vehicles are planned for introduction in the U.S. from now through the 2015 model year.