These 11 U.S. States Have Highest Green Car Adoption – Plus Plug-In %


Some states are far head of others when it comes to green car adoption in the U.S.

Yes, we realize green doesn’t necessarily mean plug-in, but in this case, the greener the state, the more likely it is to plug in, you’ll see why we say that soon.

See All Plug-Ins Sold In U.S. Here – Over 50 Plug-In EVs Compared

So without further adieu, here are the Top 10 green car adopting states in the U.S.

No surprise California is in the #1 spot. The Chevy Bolt was the plug-in sales leader there for all of 2017. And 42.5% of all of those green car sales were plug-ins.

1/3 of the green cars sold in Washington plugged in.

U.S. Sales – Monthly Plug-In Sales Scorecard

Standard hybrids outnumbered plug-ins by 2 to 1 in Oregon.

In Hawaii though, 60% of those green cars plugged in.

And in Vermont, some 40% plugged in.

Maryland showed 29% of the green vehicles as plug-ins, while in Utah the percentage was 27 and Virginia showed just 16%.

Top 7 Plug-In Cars Listed By Price Per Mile Of Electric Range

Massachusetts had 28% as plug-ins, Arizona was at 22% and Colorado checked in at 33%.

But if you look at this, you may be shaken up a bit:

Note that Alaska is showing the greatest growth, likely due to an influx of available plug-in hybrids. Alaska is not an ideal state for pure electric cars, though some are certainly on the roads there.

Of course, there are states defying the trend, too:

There’s some background info that goes with all of this too:

Green Car Adoption by State: Who’s Leading the Charge?

West Coast states lead green car adoption while Alaska, Vermont, and Hawaii show the greatest growth

 With the future of the automotive industry becoming increasingly green, iSeeCars released a new study ranking U.S. states in their green car adoption and growth rates from 2014 to 2017. California has the highest green car adoption rate, while Alaska shows the most growth. 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 (defined as hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles), and which states had the largest increases in green car adoption from 2014 to 2017. Overall, only 2.6 percent of vehicles sold in 2017 were green vehicles compared to the 2014 national adoption rate of 1.7 percent.

States with Highest Green Car Adoption Rates

RankState% Green Vehicles
National Average2.6%

 Known for pioneering the sustainability trend, California fittingly has the highest percentage of eco-friendly car sales—7.5 percent of its vehicles were alternative-fuel, almost three times the national average. Also recognized as trend-setters for sustainability practices, California’s West Coast counterparts Washington and Oregon respectively are in the second and third positions on the list.

Rounding out the top five are fourth-ranked Hawaii and fifth-ranked Vermont, a state known for being environmentally-friendly.

“When considering the country’s most sustainable states, Hawaii does not immediately come to mind,” said CEO Phong Ly. “However, that perception is changing due to an aggressive sustainability plan which includes incentives for green car buyers such as free parking and exemption from high-occupancy vehicle lane restrictions.”

Also appearing on the list were additional states with appealing eco-friendly car incentives including Maryland, Massachusetts, Virginia, Colorado, and Arizona. Maryland offers state-based credits based on the vehicle’s battery capacity as well as an excise tax credit and rebates for installing EV charging stations. Massachusetts offers rebates for both buyers and lessees as well as grants to businesses who offer charging stations to employees. Virginia drivers with fuel efficient vehicles can forgo the emissions test required for initial registration and renewal and have unrestricted access to certain carpool lanes. However, many of the carpool lane restrictions only apply to vehicles registered in Virginia before 2011, but those who replace their previously eligible vehicles with current eligible vehicles can continue to take advantage of these incentives.  Colorado offers income tax credits for electric vehicle buyers and lessees and funding for up to 80 percent of home charging stations, as well as unrestricted HOV lane access and exemption from emissions testing. Arizona provides reduced license fees, a tax credit for EV charging installations, increased parking privileges, and carpool lane access.

Utah also made the list despite the expiration of its incentives at the end of 2016.

States with Greatest Gains for Green Vehicle Adoption

RankState% Green Vehicles 2017% Green Vehicles 2014% Increase Green Vehicle Adoption
8New Jersey1.8%1.0%70.1%
National Averages2.6%1.7%48.4%

 The analysis also examined the states with the greatest gains in green vehicle adoption over a three-year period. “While the majority of the states with the greatest increases in eco-friendly car adoption are states that were previously below the 2014 average of 1.7 percent, the other states built upon their already above-average adoption rates,” said Ly.

Alaska is the most-improved state, with a 144 percent increase over 2014, when it had the nation’s sixth lowest green vehicle adoption rate. Meanwhile, California had the highest adoption rates over both periods, but still has the fourth highest improvement.

Vermont earns the second spot on the list for its 127 percent improvement rate, again supporting its reputation for being environmentally friendly. Interestingly, both Alaska and Vermont, the states with the top improvement rates, do not offer any statewide incentives for green car buyers or lessees. While residents in Vermont are likely to purchase green vehicles as part of the state’s eco-friendly culture, Alaskans may opt to purchase these vehicles to offset the state’s gas prices which are among the highest in the nation. Despite no statewide incentives, residents of these states are still able to take advantage of a federal tax credit that is commensurate with the size of the vehicle’s battery.

The other non-contiguous U.S. state, Hawaii appeared third on the list showing that the state’s incentives are effective in enticing residents to purchase green vehicles.

Rounding out the top five is Wyoming, which previously held the country’s lowest green car adoption rate. Despite its 85.5 percent growth rate, it still remains at the bottom of the country’s green car adoption rate as the fifth lowest state.  Along with a lack of green car incentives in the state, those who own plug-in electric vehicles are required to purchase a $50 decal.

The purchase of new alternative fuel vehicles grew 119 percent, while used alternative fuel vehicles grew 48 percent. “This discrepancy could be explained by federal tax credits only applying to the purchase of new plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles rather than used.”

States with Declines for Green Vehicle Adoption

Despite widespread gains of green vehicle purchases across the country, five states defied this trend and saw a decrease in eco-friendly vehicle sales.

RankState% Green Vehicles 2017% Green Vehicles 2014% Green Vehicle Improvement
2South Dakota1.0%1.3%-23.9%
4South Carolina1.5%1.6%-3.2%
5New Mexico2.2%2.2%-1.9%
National Average2.6%1.7%48.4%

 “The decline in green vehicle purchases could be attributed to a decrease in gas prices and state financial incentives that are either non-existent or not enticing enough,” said Ly.  “Arkansas and South Dakota don’t offer any incentives for alternative fuel operators, while Oklahoma saw a decrease in buyers despite generous tax credits.”

South Carolina’s hybrid and electric vehicle tax credits expired in 2017, which could have contributed to the state’s declining rates.

“As green cars increase in popularity, consumers will continue to be faced with more buying options,” said Ly. “Those looking to purchase an eco-friendly car should do their research to see what incentives are available as well as which vehicle type makes the most sense for them.”

Methodology analyzed over 22.5 million new and used cars sold in 2017 and over 17.8 million cars sold in 2014. For each U.S. state, the number of alternative-fuel “green” vehicles (hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles) sold was expressed as a percentage of the total number of vehicles sold in the state. States were ranked by their percentage of green vehicles in 2017, as well as the percent improvement seen from 2014 to 2017.

Via iSeeCars

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36 Comments on "These 11 U.S. States Have Highest Green Car Adoption – Plus Plug-In %"

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States that ban Tesla direct sales:
West Virginia

States that limit Tesla stores:
New Jersey (4)
New York (8?)

Have I missed any? How do these States rank in terms of %EV sales?

Are you sure Tesla direct sales are banned in Texas? There sure are a lot of them there. Perhaps Texas limits the number sold there?

Yes, they are popular, but all are purchased out of State.
I think they are allowed a store, but can only inform and not close a sale.

Direct sales are still illegal in Texas, you have to buy one on-line from Tesla and they will have it shipped by an unrelated third party.

Another example of the sheer hypocrisy of Red states, preach free market capitalism but then support fossil fools and borrowing a trillion$ plus from China to give tax cuts to the top 1%.

They’re still banned. It’s been suggested that it’s a big reason that the Gigafactory isn’t in Texas.

The five Pacific states are collectively a tad over 7% with the rest of the US below 2%.

Direct sales still banned here in Wisconsin. There is a proposed bill to change that but I have no idea if it will pass.
There’s actually a Wikipedia page on this topic: Not sure if it’s completely up to date but it is actively edited.

Currently New York is only allowed 5 stores and they are all located in the New York City/Long Island area. There is a bill working itself through the legislature to increase the number of stores allowed to 20. I am cautiously optimistic that it will pass.

Arizona just allowed direct sales in the past year. They are getting better.

I’m surprised to see Hawaii ranked in the top five. I wonder which EV sells there the best?

150 mile Leaf might be all you would need in Hawaii. At least for O’ahu Island (Honolulu). Google maps shows 220+ miles around the big island though.

It is especially considering that he high electric rates. One may say their gas prices are also high but they are actually in line with CA gas prices. It probably has something to do with the solar adoption which is solid in HI.

There are a lot of people going solar in Hawaii. That makes electricity much cheaper for them.

I don’t know the sales numbers, but there are a lot of Model S and X vehicles. If you just go in the parking structure for Honolulu Airport you will see about 10 of them.

Considering the size of Hawaii, I’m surprised it isn’t larger. In Hawaii, all cars can be EVs today without issue.

So sad to see GA fall off the list….Their repeal of the tax credit and addition of by far the highest yearly EV tax in the US has really hurt sales here (and they gave big tax breaks to Mercedes and Porsche BTW, not companies known for their fuel efficiency…)

I’m trying to find a deal on an ev in Massachusetts.
VERY few available. Am a senior needing low cost limited range car.

Most used evs (carfacts, carguru etc)
are on the other side of the country.

Searching the net and seeing world wide availabel evs is discouraging. So many that would fit the bill may never make it here in my lifetime.

Still watching,

Check this site out Bill, it has an excellent compilation of new and lease deals:

For the best saving though, a used PEV will be your best deal.

I heartily recommend the 2102-2015 Volts as they have excellent reliability/safety and can easily be your only car.

Good recommendation!

Now, finding a good deal on a lightly used Volt may be worth the extra effort.

Tbanls real

Bill, EV deals are easy to find in Massachusetts. Check out all of them on Mass Energy’s website:

The $139 a month smart Fortwo Electric Drive seemed to be the least expensive on that chart

Utah State legislature just passed a bill allowing direct sales that the Gov is expected to sign.

Tesla currently has a store in Salt Lake City that only sells used Teslas.

It’s “without further ado”.

And Georgia has fallen out of the top 10, no surprise there.

Georgia is going to be sinking like a rock compared to other states that don’t have punitive EV registration fees. They should be bringing up the rear in the next few years in EV growth figures.

Craziest thing is that used SparkEVs are dispersing all over the country. There are several in cold states like Idaho. I’m not sure if this article includes used cars.

Oops, answered my own question: includes used cars at bottom of article.

My dealer here in Ohio got 6 spark evs from the GM fleet. It had the white and blue electric decals

Further ‘adieu’ you say? Really?

I guess this is much ado about nothing.

So I had to slog through the entire article to find the definition of “green car”. That should be the very first paragraph, not the last, given “green car” isn’t a common, well-defined term.

None of the article can be understood without that definition. Frankly, the study isn’t that interesting, because it includes standard hybrids, and many of them aren’t significantly more fuel-efficient (and certainly not cost-effective) than the ICE versions of the same cars (Toyota Yaris/Auris, for example, or Honda Fit/Jazz) — nothing green about them, once you include enviromental cost of initial production.

I’d be much more interested in plug-in only sales figures. BEV/PHEV breakdowns too.
P.S. please KILL the social media buttons! Mobile/desktop…they are freaking annoying on all formats!

They’re working on multiple detailed lists of changes from users, us, and our offices. One update went already and many more are coming. Then, we’ll have a third and fourth round of fixes and changes into next week or further, until we get this all right.

I will say that we are super-impressed that it launched without issue, there’s been no outages or bugs making it not function, we didn’t lose any data or material, and it’s really working exceptionally. Now, it’s just a matter of tweaking all of these little “bothers” and “quirks” that (while they don’t make it NOT work), they could be better-suited from a usability standpoint. Thanks again for the insight!

I think it’s sad that many of the categories on the top of the old site are no longer there, especially the one on batteries. While it’s true that Insideevs has neglected battery news for some time, a new one would appear every few months. Yes, over most of the breakthroughs will never happen, but they are still worth following, like this one:

I used to rely on insideevs for articles like it, no more.

seen from europe, these numbers are impressive. But I find ridiculous that some states ban direct sales of Teslas. These states prefer that buyers import $100k cars from Germany than US worker to build teslas!