Calif., Texas & Fla. Lead in Clean Diesel Vehicles

WASHINGTON, D.C. – California, Texas and Florida lead the United States with the most registrations of fuel-efficient clean diesel and hybrid passenger vehicles, according to a new analysis released by the Diesel Technology Forum.

The analysis is based on data that includes the registration statistics of all passenger vehicles –- cars, SUVs, pickup trucks and vans –- compiled by R.L. Polk and Co. in all 50 states and the District of Columbia through Dec. 31, 2013.

“Consumers have an ever-growing number of choices for more fuel-efficient vehicles and this analysis shows that clean diesels are gaining in popularity all across the nation,” Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, stated in a news release.

Diesel car registrations are up 30 percent since 2010, while the overall market only increased 3.6 percent. Diesels are about 30 percent more fuel efficient than gasoline vehicles, Schaeffer said, and do not require compromises in vehicle performance, driving patterns or vehicle utility.

While California, Texas and Florida lead the nation with the most registrations, the states that saw the fastest growth in registrations between 2012 and 2013 for clean diesel cars and SUVs were Illinois (up 25 percent), Arizona (up 15.5 percent) and California (up 11.3 percent).

Based on a percentage of all registered vehicles, there are more diesel drivers in Western states such as Wyoming (10.8 percent), Montana (8.1 percent) and Idaho (6.9 percent).

“The popularity of diesel-powered pickup trucks in Western states is well known, but five of the top 10 fastest-growing states in 2013 for diesel pickup trucks are Northeastern states -- Vermont, Delaware, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island,” Schaeffer noted. 

In 2013, diesel registrations increased by 410,040 nationally and hybrids increased by 531,385. The analysis also showed that while overall diesel sales were up 30 percent during the 2010-2013 timeframe, hybrid sales increased by 64.5 percent in that same period.

“We fully expected that hybrids would outpace diesel sales based on the number of choices available to consumers during this timeframe,” Schaeffer said. “In 2013, there were 23 diesel cars and SUV choices for consumers, but more than double that (50) of hybrids.

"We are poised, however, to see the number of clean diesel choices grow in the next 18 months to encompass more vehicle classes and price ranges, which will make diesels increasingly accessible to more consumers," he continued. "Already we know of 16 announced new clean diesel options that are coming to the U.S. later this year through 2017.”

Among U.S. passenger vehicle registrations, diesels currently account for more than 7 million vehicles and hybrids account for 2.8 million vehicles, according to the Polk data.