Diesel Car Sales See Greatest Growth In Coast States

Diesel vehicle registrations are some of the highest since 2010, with California, Massachusetts, and New York seeing the highest growth in oil burners. That is according to registration information gathered by R.L. Polk and Company and presented to the Diesel Technology Forum. The Golden State also has the most diesel-powered vehicles, along with Florida and Texas.

States Allen Schaeffer, the executive director of the forum: “This new data of total national vehicle registrations coincides with what we’ve been seeing in the monthly auto sales – clean diesel and hybrid cars are showing consistent and impressive growth patterns in the U.S. This consistent growth in clean diesel registrations in the last three years is particularly noteworthy since it has occurred during an economic recession, the availability of an extremely large number of fuel efficient vehicles, which was topped off by some of the highest diesel fuel prices in U.S. history. Even in the face of these significant challenges, diesel buyers are seeing the big picture and long-term value by investing in record numbers of clean diesel cars and SUVs.”

Diesel Vehicle Registrations by State

Image courtesy of the Diesel Technology Forum

According to the Polk data, diesel vehicle registration increased more than 24 percent from 2010 through 2012. Though they only compose around 3 percent of total U.S. vehicles on the road, their growth is right behind hybrids, which saw an over 33 percent increase in registration in the same time period. Analysts believe diesel will power 10 percent of U.S. vehicles by 2020, as Americans continue to prioritize fuel economy in their purchases.

While the coastal states have the most diesel vehicles and highest overall growth, other states take the lead in specific segments. The District of Columbia, Maine,and Pennsylvania see the fastest growth in diesel-powered passengers vehicles. Pennsylvania is also third in number of diesel truck purchases, just behind Nebraska, Maine (which both claim the number two spot) and Montana, which leads the pack. Wyoming, though, has the most diesel trucks in terms of percentage of total trucks in a state, followed by Utah.

Among hybrid vehicle registration, there’s a surprise. The regular stalwarts, California, Washington, and Oregon, do not take the top three spots. No, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Tennessee and Mississippi (which tie), lead the fastest growth in hybrid car, crossover, and SUV registration for 2012.

Joel Arellano is a writing professional for over two decades, working in such diverse industries as finance, aerospace, telecomm, and medical devices. He has covered the automotive industry for more than six years, and his articles and blog posts can found on at Autoblog, Autoblog Green, Automotive.com, motortrend.com, trucktrend.com, and automobilemag.com.