Where are people likely to buy 'green vehicles'? Here's a breakdown

As you might expect, California shows up high on the list of states where purchases of plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles are especially likely. But so does oil-dependent Texas.

And the recognition for regional demographics and economic conditions most likely to inspire a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle purchase goes to ... Pennsylvania!

Yep, you read that correctly. There's some new data out from Pike Research about the metropolitan regions that are most likely to adopt alternative or "green" transportation, and the Pennsylvania cities of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton are high on the list.

Among the factors considered in the analysis were population, age, gender, household income, race and household size.

Based on that criteria, Pike figures that sales of plug-in electric vehicles in the largest 102 cities in the United States will total 1.8 million from 2012 to 2020. 

The report breaks things down on a regional basis. As already mentioned, the Pennsylvania region mentioned above factors largely, as does the San Jose metropolitan area in California, the Worchester metro area in Massachusetts, and several cities in Colorado, including Denver, Aurora, Broomfield and Colorado Springs.

If you look at individual cities that look especially promising for adoption, here are the top five: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland. More than one-quarter of all the plug-in electric vehicle sales over the eight-year period considered are expected to come from that area, according to Pike's "Electric Vehicle Geographic Forecasts" analysis.

The state that jumped up most on the Pike ranking was Texas, which has supported a dramatic expansion in electric vehicle charging infrastructure over the past 12 months. It jumped up to No. 4 on the state ranking, compared with its position at No. 42 in 2010.

(Photo of Focus Electric courtesy of Ford Motor Co.)

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