These States Are Buying the Most Green Cars in America

While electric cars continue to inch forward in America, they have yet to make their big move. You can mostly blame the lack of charging infrastructure and still-high prices for that.

But that doesn’t mean green cars haven’t made headway. The Toyota Prius hybrid has been a huge success, with close to 2 million sales on the U.S. market since 2000. Starting in 2010, the Ford Fusion Energi, Nissan Leaf, and Tesla Model S proved Americans were willing to charge their cars, too.

Cheap gas may have slowed regular hybrid sales in recent years, but the rise of affordable long-range EVs and top-notch plug-in hybrids will give electric cars their best sales year ever in 2018. It’s not all happening on the West Coast, either. Here are the 11 states where people buy the most green cars in America, according to data from

11. Colorado


Colorado offers EV buyers a generous rebate. | via Facebook

A $5,000 rebate (in addition to the $7,500 federal tax credit) has been available to any Colorado resident who wanted to buy an electric car, and many have taken the state up on the offer. Nearly one in three green cars on state roads were plug-ins, iSeeCars data showed. Otherwise, standard hybrids (67% of sales) like the Prius dominate the scene.

Next: This Southwestern state knows its way around green cars.

10. Arizona

Mesa, Arizona

Arizona car buyers are beginning to choose hybrids. | RobertSilberblatt/iStock/Getty Images

Sunny Arizona is the ideal place for zero-emissions driving. With a combination of solar panels and battery storage at home, drivers would never have to deal with the electric grid — and carbon-intensive fuels — when they want to power an EV.

The trend has not fully taken off yet in Arizona yet. To date, some 78% of the state’s green cars were hybrids, with the remainder making up the plug-in share.

Next: This Northeastern state features pro-environment lawmakers and EV tax credits.

9. Massachusetts

University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts

Massachusetts has paid a fortune in green car rebates. |

The Massachusetts congressional delegation could hardly score better in environmental voting, and lawmakers take the same green approach to work in the state capital. Car consumers have access to $2,500 in rebates for pure EVs here.

Since 2014, Massachusetts has handed out over $13 million in green car rebates. That certainly helped the state make the top 10 for eco-friendly vehicles. Overall, 72% were standard hybrids compared to 28% plug-in hybrids and EVs.

Next: This Mid-Atlantic state has a yen for hybrid cars.

8. Virginia

Virginia is for lovers — and green car buyers. | iStock

For years, the easiest and most affordable way to drive green was to buy a Prius and call it a day. Virginia consumers seem to have taken that to heart. Out of the state’s decent concentration of eco-friendly vehicles, iSeeCars data showed 84% were standard hybrids.

We doubt that will change now that Prius gets 58 mpg in city driving, but the Prius Prime plug-in hybrid (133 MPGe) is certainly worth a look. In a week-long test with Prime, we averaged over 100 mpg. With federal tax credits, it actually costs the same as the standard model.

Next: A tax credit for EVs helped boost Utah’s electric car count.

7. Utah

Green car buyers in Utah can save up to $9,000 off the sticker price. | iStock

Between the $1,500 credit from the state and $7,500 from the federal government, Utah car consumers could subtract $9,000 from the cost of a new electric car. (The state credit expired in 2017.)

Certainly, those incentives helped boost the state’s green car count. According to iSeeCars data, almost 27% of the state’s electrified vehicles were plug-ins, while the bulk (73%) were standard hybrids.

Next: A $3,000 tax credit for EVs pushed this coastal state into sixth place.

6. Maryland

Maryland state capitol

Nearly a third of Maryland’s green cars are plug-in hybrids. | Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

States adopted EV tax credits for obvious reasons. In order to transition off polluting fossil fuels, residents would need to switch to greener cars. To make purchasing the advanced technology affordable, states provided help.

Maryland’s $3,000 incentives, on top of the $7,500 federal credit, did its job over the years. The state has 29% plug-in vehicles in its significant share of green cars, iSeeCars data showed. Maryland’s excise tax credit will be available until 2020.

Next: This state’s drivers are as green as the rolling hills.

5. Vermont

Vermont scenery

Even without a state rebate, Vermont car buyers are going green. | Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

While Vermont does not offer a green car incentive, many utilities in the state do. Regardless, the $7,500 tax credit seems to be enough for many residents to choose a less polluting vehicle.

Data from iSeeCars shows Vermont cracking the top five with a 3.7% overall green car share. Of those vehicles, nearly four in 10 were plug-in hybrids or pure EVs. Meanwhile, the state showed one of the biggest increases (127%) in eco-friendly vehicles since 2014.

Next: Hawaii more than doubled its share of green vehicles since 2014.

4. Hawaii

Rainbow Falls in Hawaii

Hawaii has embraced green cars in a big way. | Png-Studio/Getty Images

If you want to see a state charging forward with electric cars, look to Hawaii. Since 2014, the state increased its share of green vehicles by 117%. Of the fleet now on the islands’ roads, a whopping 60% were plug-in hybrids or all-electric cars. No other state can top that percentage.

To explain the phenomenon, CEO Phong Ly pointed out Hawaii’s “aggressive sustainability plan, which includes incentives for green car buyers such as free parking and exemption from high-occupancy vehicle lane restrictions.”

Next: Oregon is one of three states with a green car share over 5% — and it did it without EV tax credits.

3. Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Nearly 6% of all cars in Oregon are eco-friendly. | Png-Studio/iStock/Getty Images

Over the years, Oregon proved that you don’t necessarily need EV tax credits to get consumers driving electric cars. The state’s aggressive approach to education and charging infrastructure worked just fine.

Years later, Oregon remained one of the leaders in the country with 5.6% green car market share. There were two standard hybrids for every plug-in model on the road here.

Next: Drivers in Washington state posted a green car share of over 6%.

2. Washington

A farmer mows alfalfa amid the smoke near Omak, Washington.

Washingon’s cars are as green as its mountains. | Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Drivers across the country don’t get greener than those on the West Coast, and Washington is a perfect example. According to data, the Evergreen State had a 6.1% share of green cars.

Not only does Washington rank second overall; it also ranked sixth among states growing its green car share. Since 2014, Washington drivers added 83% more electrified options to the mix. One in three of those vehicles were plug-in models.

Next: No state can touch California’s commitment to green driving.

1. California

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

California is America’s leader when it comes to green cars. | Eric Schaal/TheCheat Sheet

Many states have a solid share of green cars on the road, but none come close to California. Overall, the state boasts a 7.5% share of electrified vehicles.

Plenty of those (42.5%) are plug-in models, with standard hybrids filling out the count. If it seems like every other car you see in California is a Prius or Tesla, it’s more than just a feeling.

California also continues to grow its share at a rapid clip. Since 2014, residents have increased the green car share by 90%. In 2017, the top-selling electric vehicle here wasn’t a Tesla either. Chevrolet Bolt EV took the honors with over 13,000 registrations.

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