U.S. Drivers Warm Up to Diesels - Registrations Rise 24.3 Percent between 2010 and 2012

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Once a fuel reserved only to heavy-duty trucks, diesel has begun to gain ground also among U.S. automobile drivers in recent years. Clean diesel registrations increased by 24.3 percent in the U.S. from 2010 through 2012 following similar trends of double-digit diesel car sale increases throughout the country, according to data compiled by R.L. Polk and Company.

Registrations of diesel cars and SUVs increased from 640,779 in 2010 to 796,794 at the end of 2012. During this same period, hybrid car and SUV registrations increased from 1,714,966 to 2,290,903, accounting for an even bigger increase of 33.58 percent. To put these figures into perspective, the total car and SUV registrations in the U.S. increased by just 2.75 percent during the same period.

The national registration information includes data for all types of passenger vehicles – cars, SUVs, pickup trucks and vans – from all 50 states and the District of Columbia from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2012.

At the moment, there are over 6.65 million diesel passenger vehicles registered in the U.S., while the total number of registered hybrids exceeds 2.29 million. It’s an interesting statistic, since there currently are 27 diesel models available in the U.S. market, compared to 46 hybrids.

Diesel passenger vehicle sales are expected to increase significantly, as the number of new diesel vehicles that will launch in the U.S. will more than double in the next two years, reaching 10 percent of the U.S. market by 2020.

The U.S. states with the most diesel registrations are Texas, California and Florida.

By Dan Mihalascu