Top 10 US Cities for ‘Green’ Cars

June 25, 2009

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Automotive | Technology

Households in San Francisco are 60% more likely to buy ‘green’ cars than the average American home, while those in Greenwood-Greenville and Meridian, Miss. Are the least likely to buy them, according to data from The Nielsen Company.

In addition to San Francisco at #1, a top-10 list from Nielsen Claritas’ PRIZM Market Potential Report also includes other coastal metropolitan areas, including Washington, D.C. (#2), where households are 44% more likely than average to buy green cars, New York (#3), where they are 31% more likely, Boston (#4), San Diego (#5), Chicago (#6) and Los Angeles (#9). All of these areas have populations of over one million.


Two exceptions to the large-population trend are the relatively small areas of Monterey-Salinas, Calif. (#7), which has a population of 234,000 and Honolulu, Hawaii (#8), with a population of 442,000 , Nielsen said.

Where Gas Guzzlers Rule

At the other end of the spectrum, places where gas guzzlers still rule the road tend to be in the south and Midwest, with West Virginia and Mississippi claiming seven of the 10 areas with the lowest rates of green auto ownership.


“These estimates help manufacturers and marketers better understand the markets that have green potential, and help them focus their resources,” said Bruce Wilkinson, VP of Media and Communications for Nielsen Claritas. “Additionally, it helps them to plan media campaigns and determine inventory levels for each model, market-by-market.”

About the data: The research looked at the national ownership rates of high-mileage vehicles including the Honda Fit, Toyota Prius, Toyota Yaris and Mini Cooper. Using auto registration data from RL Polk and Nielsen’s PRIZM segmentation, the percentage of each segment owning these vehicles was calculated. Individual market potential then was calculated based upon the segment composition of each market.


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