Photo: Toyota

It seems like every other automotive press release is about autonomy or alternative energy. Is every other car an EV or a plug-in hybrid? No, obviously, but this study shows an interesting breakdown of how popular alt-fuel cars really are, and where.

Listicle factory iSeeCars claims to have “analyzed over 22.5 million new and used cars sold in 2017 (and over 17.8 million cars sold in 2014) to determine which states have the highest percentage of alternative-fuel vehicles.” Such vehicles are defined as fully electric vehicles, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids.

Apparently on a “national average,” 2.6 percent of all new cars sold around the U.S. were alt-fuel in 2017 versus 1.7 percent in 2014. The study looked at two different years three years apart to see the change in adoption rate over time. By which I mean, they wanted to show which U.S. states showed an increasing adoption of alt-fuels and at what rate.

Graphic: iSeeCars

It will probably surprise no one that the West Coast seems to have the highest percentage of EV and hybrid sales. At least from what I can tell in Los Angeles, Teslas are like Camrys. As for actual Camrys, well, most of them appear to be hybrids, too.


As for where alt-fuel made the biggest gains between 2014 and last year:

Hybrids and EVs seem to be gaining in popularity most rapidly in Alaska, at least over the span of the last three years.


I’m excited about electric, hybrid and other non-gasoline cars but I think these numbers will be brought up again next time we hear about “total bans on gasoline vehicle registrations” and such.

Californians registered 2,047,000 new vehicles in 2017 according to the San Diego Tribune. If iSeeCars’ data is accurate, that means we can say 153,525 of them were alternative-fuel vehicles. I’m not against a bigger adoption of cars that don’t burn gasoline, but it looks like we’re still a few years away from them totally replacing the internal combustion engine.