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'Green' vehicle popularity soars

November 23, 2010
The popularity of environmentally friendly vehicles has increased 54-fold in the past five years, according to analysis this month by R.L. Polk & Co. From January through October 2002, seven electric and gas-electric hybrid vehicles accounted for nearly 35,000 registrations, compared to just 650 new registrations in 1997. Gas-electric hybrids accounted for nearly 83 percent of the 2002 registrations. Nearly 30 percent of all "green" vehicles sales occur in California markets, stemming from the state's higher fuel costs (nearly 20 cents per gallon more than the national average) and stricter environmental regulations. The Toyota Prius and Honda Civic are the most popular gas-electric hybrid vehicles, representing 78 percent of all "green" vehicle registrations. Prius recorded 17,500 registrations; Civic, nearly 10,000.