Sales of hybrids, EVs stay brisk in Oregon

Oregonians are buying electric and hybrid vehicles at a brisk pace.

Oregonians are buying electric and hybrid vehicles at a brisk pace. 

Close to 2 percent of all hybrid and electric vehicles sold in the U.S. were sold in Oregon.

The state ranks No. 16 in the nation for hybrid buying and No. 17 for electric vehicle purchases. The state ranks No. 31 overall for its share of all new car registrations, according to a Edmunds.com analysis of Polk's new car registration data.

Edmunds found that 2012 is shaping up to be a strong year for alternative fuel vehicles in general: 3.4 percent of new car registrations through August were for hybrids or EVs. In 2011, 2.4 percent of all registrations were for alternative fuel vehicles.

That uptick is due in part to more non-combustion engine cars becoming available. Edmunds is projecting that selection to continue to grow with some 43 new hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery electric vehicles, fuel-cell electric vehicles and diesels planned for introduction in the U.S. through the 2015 model year.

"Mainstream car buyers have been slow to accept hybrid and electric vehicles, but the numbers are trending up, and you can almost hear a sigh of relief from automakers who made big bets on these vehicles," said Jessica Caldwell, a senior analyst for Edmunds.com, in a press release.

Portland was selected as a launch market for many electric vehicles — including, recently, the Honda Fit EV and the diminutive Think City — due in part to the region's early-adopter reputation.

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