Study finds California is 'greenest' when it comes to car buying

(April 20, 2012) CHICAGO — has compiled a list of U.S. cities with the most and least eco-friendly car shoppers. The site looked at search data from its millions of site visitors and determined that, based on their searches for vehicles that get more than 40 mpg, California shoppers are the greenest in the U.S., and the Southern states are the least green.

"Earth Day is our yearly reminder that we can be doing more for the environment," said Editor-in-Chief, Patrick Olsen. "This list ranks cities where car shoppers are most interested in minimizing their driving's impact on the environment. With more hybrids, electrics and very fuel-efficient vehicles on the market than ever before, shoppers looking for a new car can do their part to reduce their carbon footprint without skimping on style and comfort."

A few vehicles that Olsen recommends for the eco-conscious shopper this Earth Day include:

    • 2012 Hyundai Elantra: A gas-powered vehicle that gets 40 miles per gallon, no matter what trim you buy
    • 2012 Toyota Prius c: A hybrid vehicle whose MSRP starts under $19,000 and gets 53 mpg in the city
    • 2012 Volkswagen Jetta TDI: For those interested in diesel, this option from VW gets more than 40 mpg on the highway

The top 10 cities* with the greenest car shoppers, based on searches, are:

    San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif.
    Madison, Wis.
    Monterey-Salinas, Calif.
    Portland, Ore.
    San Diego, Calif.
    Green Bay-Appleton, Wis.
    Santa Maria-Santa Barbara-San Luis Obispo, Calif.
    Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, Calif.
    Chico-Redding, Calif.
    Zanesville, Ohio

*Ranked greenest to least green

"There's a perception that Californians are more eco-conscious, and our car shopping data shows that's true," said Olsen. "With more charging stations than any other state and dedicated car-pool lanes, it's easy to understand why manufacturers typically choose California as the place to launch their new 'green' vehicles."

The 10 cities* with the fewest green car shoppers, based on searches, are:

    Odessa-Midland, Texas/N.M.
    Laredo, Texas
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Albany, Ga.
    Bluefield-Beckley-Oakhill, Va./W. Va.
    Glendive, Mont.
    Helena, Mont.
    Columbus-Tupelo-West Point, Ala./Miss.
    Casper-Riverton, Wyo.
    Baton Rouge, La.

*Ranked least green to greener

"The hard-workers in the South need their pickup trucks," said Olsen. "For these workers, a hybrid or fuel efficient vehicle would likely be a second car, and that's just not as feasible for many in this economy."