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97.4% of Americans Chose NOT To Drive A Green Car – Which Three States Buck The Trend?

A new study shows that only 2.6% of Americans opt to drive a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or battery-electric vehicle. How much higher is it in the three states with the greenest drivers?


A new study conducted by researchers at breaks down the adoption rates of green cars by American drivers. With a huge selection of various types of electric cars available now in America, 41 models according to InsideEvs, plus dozens of hybrid models in almost every vehicle category, one would assume Americans would be turning to green cars in droves. But it is not the case. 97.4% of Americans opt not to own a green car.

Nationwide, only about 2.6% of drivers of new and used vehicles drive a hybrid, or EV of one type or another according to the study. In many states, the rate hovers around 1%. California is a very large market and leads the country in green vehicle adoption. Yet, 92.5% of Californians opt not to drive a green car. The rate of 7.5% of green vehicle owners in California is way ahead of most states, but less than one in ten Californians feel the issue is important enough to drive a hybrid or EV. This despite the fact that the Toyota Prius hybrid was the top-selling model in California for a number of years.

The next two highest states for green car adoption are Washington and Oregon. In these states, 93.9% and 94.4% of drivers opt not to drive green cars. Hawaii and Vermont are next on the list, but have tiny car markets compared to other states. Alaska was the most improved with 97.9% of Alaskans opting not to drive green cars, an increase of green car ownership from 2014 when 99.2% of Alaskans opted not to drive green vehicles. However, again, Alaska is a tiny car market by comparison to more populous states.

The most successful green car in the world, and also in the United States is the Toyota Prius. That green car has been on the market now for over 20 years, having launched in 1997. The Prius still outsells every other green car in America by a factor of about 4 to 1. Many Prius owners also have sports cars, trucks and motorcycles that are not green. Lately, the Toyota RAV4 hybrid and Highlander Hybrid SUVs have gained significant traction. The RAV4 Hybrid outsold every electric car model in America since its introduction. The green vehicle to watch is the $49K+ Tesla Model 3. That model will soon break out and have sales that approach the Prius and RAV4 for monthly totals.

Related Story: Read Our Forecast: 2018 Electric Vehicle Forecast - Winner and Losers


RobSez (not verified)    March 2, 2018 - 6:50AM

I've been saying for many years that no one cares about environmental issues. This article is just the latest one of many that supports my position. Let's just all admit this is the case and stop trying to sell 'Green' cars.

The reason hybrid and EV acceptance and adoption has been so horribly slow is because of miscalculation and poor marketing on the part of auto makers. They all assume that because they are being required to build 'compliance cars' the best way to sell them is to appeal to drivers' sense of environmental responsibility. WRONG. Drivers in the U.S., for the most part, have no sense of environmental responsibility. This has been proven repeatedly over decades. Nobody wants a 'Green' car except hippies, former hippies and hippie wanna-bees.

If auto manufacturers had marketed EVs from day one as the fun to drive, cheap to operate, practical, almost no maintenance vehicles they are, electric cars would be far more popular. Now that they have muddied the market place, auto makers have thrown yet another hurdle in their own path to selling EVs to the mass market. Then they whine to congress about how much money they are losing. The whole time hoping Trump, or another conservative administration will do away with pollution requirements and the need for EVs altogether. The reality is the only company that has done EVs right from the start is Tesla and even Tesla doesn't advertise. Chevy, Nissan, BMW, etc., etc. might actually sell more EVs (and actually make money) if they would bother to advertise EVs. Dozens of surveys show the average driver doesn't even know EVs or charging stations exist, with the possible exception of Tesla.

I suspect that 97.4% of Americans "Chose NOT To Drive A Green Car" because 90% of them didn't understand the choices available.