By on November 22, 2011

Everyone knows TTAC hearts data, so this little NPR/Edmunds collaboration, which maps hybrid and EV sales by locality, is right up our HOV lane.

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45 Comments on “Data Of The Day: An Interactive Map Showing EV/Hybrid Sales By Location...”

  • avatar

    Blue states.

    • 0 avatar


      • 0 avatar

        Purple. Red state full of blue states’ retired blue-hairs.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Ha ha! That’s great!

      • 0 avatar

        I would not consider Florida blue, but it is trendy. I would say there are more super-expensive cars per capita in Palm Beach County, where I live, than pretty much anywhere. The desire to drive something novel probably explains the presence of electric/hybrid cars in my state.

        Another huge advantage is that while Florida is a state of suburbs, the commercial infrastructure is first rate – if I want pretty much anything, from toys to Tiffany’s, it’s within a 15 minute drive. So range anxiety isn’t much of a problem here.

        Finally, Florida is warm. Battery capacity decreases horribly in cold weather.

        And yet despite this I have yet to see one in the wild. I’ve seen a Fiat 500 but no Leaf or Volt.


  • avatar

    I got a chance to drive the first Volt in South Dakota a few days ago, but I drove a Sonic Hatchback with a 1.8 liter and a manual transmission instead. I really wanted to wring out the 1.4 turbo Sonic, but there wasn’t one available to drive.

    I can say for the first time in my life however that GM has actually produced an extremely well done small car. Solid interior, weird but cool instrument cluster, doors that made a solid “thunk” when you close them, taught steering, decent interior and a sunroof!

    It was pretty much on par with a Honda Fit. For reals, the Sonic that good.

    The opportunity to drive the Volt is still there, but I literally have zero interest in it. Meh.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s neat that they include a sunroof on a lower end car–Hyundai doesn’t. The turbo would be neat with the six speed automatic, but it’s not offered in that configuration. I still won’t consider anything from GM because GM corporate is abusive towards their customers and they don’t stand behind their products.

  • avatar

    Good lord, 8.4% in San Francisco?? They barely have a chance of getting off the boat before they are sold. That’s pretty high.

    I’m equally surprised how low New York is at just 2.2%.

    • 0 avatar

      San Francisco drivers purchase cars to sit in a garage while they bike or take public transit to work. This was the venue where L-M closed a dealership.

    • 0 avatar

      Many people in Metro NY don’t drive enough miles for the price of gas to matter, and most of the rest are split between leased European cars and low-cost compacts, with some large SUVs in the outer burbs.

      I was noticing the scarcity of the Prius on my last visit.

    • 0 avatar

      The fact that NY is 2.2% means that Ford is being rather stupid for selecting that as the only other state other than CA where the Focus EV will be initially available. CA certainly makes sense with their high adoption rate. But in NY it gets cold in the winter and hot in the summer, neither of which is good for range and it has a low adoption rate.

      Making WA or OR one of the initial states makes much more sense. Milder climate and a high adoption rate for Hybrid and EVs. I see Leafs all over the Seattle area, know 2 people who have purchased them, there is one in the neighborhood and my son says there is one in is high school’s parking lot.

  • avatar

    I see a “smug alert” in the forecast for the coasts.

    Sure is a coastal thing as at one time annual household income for hybrid owner was $100,000.

  • avatar

    Isn’t it fantastic when statistics back up stereotypes?

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    Is this any big surprise? Someone was expecting big numbers in the Ozarks maybe?

  • avatar

    Traded in my 911 for a Prius Five last weekend, believe it or not. It’s a great car, perhaps not much of a chick magnet.

    • 0 avatar

      Don’t worry, you’ll get green chicks:

    • 0 avatar

      Glorified VW Beetles don’t count. :)

      When someone tells me “I drive a hybrid”, I mention that my 12 year old Saab 9-5 is pushing 40 mpg on the 120 mile commute with 10% city. And I pay gasoline tax on every mile unlike hybrid who uses the road at times with battery only.

      • 0 avatar

        Saying “I drive a Saab” isn’t any more socially acceptable than saying “I drive a hybrid”!

      • 0 avatar

        I tell tree-hugging types that I drive old Volvos, and they nod and smile. ‘One of us’, they think, ‘with his ponytail and goatee.’

        If you say so.

      • 0 avatar

        “Hybrid” drivers do pay gas tax on every mile they drive. All of the energy used by a hybrid is derived from the ICE’s fuel, other than the initial charge. Just because it converts that energy to electric form and stores it does not mean that it didn’t come from taxed fossil fuel.

        Now if you were talking about the only true Hybrid on the market the Volt then you are correct. Chances are though that you are referring to Prius and similar cars.

      • 0 avatar

        The Volt may be unique at the moment as a plug in hybrid, but pretty much every other hybrid on the market is a true hybrid. Changing the meaning of words is an ugly practice. “1984” was never meant to be a how-to book.

    • 0 avatar

      A 911 for a Prius? Why???!

      • 0 avatar

        I would’ve got a Volt if I had a place to plug it in, but I live in a highrise, alas. I’d had the 911 for 4.5 years, put 31K miles on it, and had taken it out on real for-the-fun-of-it drives twice. I wasn’t using it the way it’s meant to be used. That plus the $400 oil changes meant off to Carmax with it, which by the way is a terrific business.

        The Prius (a “loaded” Five model) is fun too, many toys and gadgets that I’m just beginning to figure out.

  • avatar

    Hm. Other than the higher numbers in the rural pacific northwest, I’d be willing to bet that these comport about as closely with average commuting time spent in traffic as with politics. You need to have an awfully high income to spend thousands of dollars more on a car that gets better gas mileage for the good of the planet. Sitting in New York City or San Francisco traffic every day maximizes the competitive fuel economy advantage of a hybrid and thus the offset against the higher purchase price; cruising 30 miles on a clear interstate in Oklahoma, on the other hand, will cost you just about as many gallons in a Camry hybrid as it does in a Camry.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      Well, that sorta calculates. Looking at the East Coast, DC, whose traffic is second only to LA in severity (and with an average commute second only to LA in duration) is right up there. It also helps that, in metro DC, like in some parts of California (and I don’t know where else)HOV lanes are open to single-occupant hybrid drivers (and, I presume, EVs, only I’ve only seen two Volts around here and zero Leafs).

      Hybrids really make a lot of sense if you’re stuck in stop and go, slow-moving traffic; and that’s what a lot of the highway commuting in metro DC is, sadly.

    • 0 avatar

      Other than the higher numbers in the rural pacific northwest, I’d be willing to bet that these comport about as closely with average commuting time spent in traffic as with politics

      I assure you that neither Eugene nor Medford/Ashland (I’m sure that there’s more Ashland than Medford in that, per capita) are especially rural.

      Likewise Spokane and Yakima, while the latter has more rural component, are the biggest cities anywhere in their vicinity.

      I’ll be shocked if pretty much any Actual Rural Dwellers are buying hybrids, unless they’re retired hippies. Which a few, admittedly, probably are.

  • avatar

    Ohm, watts this map show? Wire it appears that there isn’t much capacitance for sales ouside blue urban areas. There may be a filament of hope for g,owing sales if sales resistance falls as the cars become better known. Then sales may amp up. Still I don’t see the Volt as a transformer. I’m almost positive I’m salely grounded in forecasting sales brownouts if gas prices fall or subsidies end.

  • avatar

    That orange dot in Washington DC is almost all in Virginia, and it’s almost all due to HOV privileges, particularly on Interstate 66. Even a 28/28 MPG Highlander Hybrid can be piloted solo in I-66 HOV lanes during rush hour.

    I would guess there’s a similar story behind many of those West Coast dots.

    • 0 avatar

      Former Congressman (R-colo) and presidential candidate Tom Tancredo got a Prius just for the HOV lanes, which really are critical for getting into DC from Virginia. His other cars were a Cadillac and Buick.

  • avatar

    There are no more solo hybrids in the HOV lanes in California. That program expired July 1 of this year, to loud moaning and whining from the lucky ones who had the stickers. (see for current eligible single-occupant HOV exceptions)

    Still, the SF bay area is a natural for hybrids – lots of slow freeway traffic and mild weather are the sweet spot for increased MPGs.

  • avatar

    Around Seattle/Bellevue area I see A LOT of prii around, virtually daily and many of them are now used as taxis. I’ve also seen other hybrids and I doubt I’ve seen a Volt around and probably didn’t know it was a Volt if I’ve seen one as they don’t look remarkably different from a Cruze, which I’ve seen. I have seen more Fiats than I have Volts though, and that’s both for the old and new models.

    Even Tacoma has their fair share of Prii and the Puget Sound region has some of the worst traffic in the nation. Don’t know how bad it is today but about a decade or so ago, it was as much as 3rd worst to 8th worst, depending on the source you read. Since then, the region has and is still working on combating that congestion in a big way through increased bus and light rail/commuter rail use – especially in King County.

    The region is high on the small B/C segment car, especially foreign or derived.

  • avatar
    Diesel Fuel Only

    Wow, we’re the lowest city in the country, as far as I can tell, right down there with Odessa-Midland, Texas! Even Amarillo is double the ratio here. Of course, I’m in a town where the most prestigious firms to work for are Halliburton & Chevron and the patriotic thing to do is support the economy and create jobs by burnin’ some gas!

    Saw a brand-new Astin Martin Rapide at the gym the other day, by the way. Lots of oil money floating around these days.

    Some of the cities on this map that are very low do surprise me, given the amount of driving that people do. Surprising not because those cities are the gridlocked mess that is DC or LA, surprising because of the amount of driving people do in low-density cities in the south, like Baton Rouge or Little Rock or Jackson – all very low on this map.

    Often times, unless you’re willing to drive all over town to do your shopping, you’re stuck with pretty lame neighborhood offerings. My doc’s office moved across town – it’s now an additional eight mile round trip on top of what it had been before, which was already ridiculous (guess who just got fired). I’ve found myself having driven twenty, thirty, or forty miles in one day, more than a few times, trying to get errands done. Bank. Alterations place. Gym. Target Store. Post Office. All miles apart. Life in the good ole’ USA.

    To an earlier comment about Hybrids getting HOV lane privileges, that really steams me – my Golf gets better mileage (and is better on most emissions criteria) than all the hybrids sold in the US except two or three. So a bloated GM Hybrid Truck or a Lexus Hybrid SUV (what a preposterous and pretentious vehicle that is) gets HOV privileges when a 36 MPG real-world average Golf TDI (and I don’t baby it to get that figure, by any means) is stuck in the slow lane.

    Not that there are any HOV lanes here, but I’m just sayn’.

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