Chicago—May 9, 2009—There are many hybrid and alternative-fuel cars on the market today, making it easier than ever for consumers to go green. Eco-consciousness and rising fuel costs have combined to drive consumer interest in these new models, but that interest varies regionally, according to Cars.com's second-annual Green Cities Index.
The Cars.com Green Cities Index ranks cities across the country based on their interest in going green behind the wheel. The list is calculated by evaluating the number of hybrid searches as a percentage of overall car searches in each market, then ranking them.
Like last year, West Coast shoppers and, more specifically, shoppers in the Pacific Northwest showed the greatest interest in hybrid vehicles. Eight of the top 10 cities on the list are in Oregon, California or Washington, with Eugene, Ore.; Portland, Ore.; and Santa Barbara, Calif., taking the top three spots. While West Coast cities seem to embrace hybrid vehicles more than their counterparts in the Midwest and on the East Coast, cities in the South lag behind most major cities in the country, with seven of the bottom 10 cities in Mississippi, Texas or Louisiana. Laredo, Texas, has the dubious distinction of being last on our list.
"What's interesting to note is, aside from the cities on the West Coast that one might guess would have a very strong interest in hybrid technologies, college towns rank high on the list for their interest in hybrid technologies," Cars.com senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder said. "Among the top 15 cities on the list are a group of smaller cities with large state universities where hybrids are very popular, including Charlottesville, Va., home to the University of Virginia; Gainesville, Fla., home to the University of Florida; and Madison, Wis., home to the University of Wisconsin."
Cars.com Green Cities Index:
The Cars.com Green Cities Index monitors hybrid-vehicle shopping in all 210 designated market areas across the country. Rankings are calculated based on the number of hybrid searches in a market as a percentage of all searches in that market. Below are the complete rankings:
1. Eugene, Ore.
2. Portland, Ore.
3. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-San Luis Obispo, Calif.
4. Monterey-Salinas, Calif.
5. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif.
6. Charlottesville, Va.
7. Medford-Klamath Falls, Ore.
8. Chico-Redding, Calif.
9. Juneau, Alaska
10. Seattle-Tacoma, Wash.
Cars.com is the leading destination for online car shoppers, offering credible, easy-to-understand information from consumers and experts to help buyers formulate opinions on what to buy, where to buy and how much to pay for a car. With comprehensive pricing information, side-by-side comparison tools, photo galleries, videos, unbiased editorial content and a large selection of new- and used-car inventory, Cars.com puts millions of car buyers in control of their shopping process with the information they need to make confident buying decisions.
Launched in June 1998, Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures, LLC, which is owned by leading media companies, including Belo (N.Y.SE: BLC), Gannett Co., Inc. (N.Y.SE: GCI), The McClatchy Company (N.Y.SE: MNI), Tribune Company and The Washington Post Company (N.Y.SE: WPO).