Environmental Protection

U.S. Cities with the Greenest and Least Green Car Shoppers

Cars.com, an online resource for buying and selling new and used vehicles, 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 Southern states are the least green.

"Earth Day is our yearly reminder that we can be doing more for the environment," said Cars.com 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 Cars.com searches, are*:

1. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif.
2. Madison, Wis.
3. Monterey-Salinas, Calif.
4. Portland, Ore.
5. San Diego, Calif.
6. Green Bay-Appleton, Wis.
7. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara-San Luis Obispo, Calif.
8. Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, Calif.
9. Chico-Redding, Calif.
10. 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 Cars.com searches, are*:

1. Odessa-Midland, Texas/N.M.
2. Laredo, Texas
3. Fairbanks, Alaska
4. Albany, Ga.
5. Bluefield-Beckley-Oakhill, Va./W. Va.
6. Glendive, Mont.
7. Helena, Mont.
8. Columbus-Tupelo-West Point, Ala./Miss.
9. Casper-Riverton, Wyo.
10. 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."   

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