SOUTHFIELD, MI – Nationwide registrations for new hybrid vehicles rose to 199,148 in 2005 — a 139 percent increase from 2004 according to R. L. Polk & Co. For the second year in a row, Toyota Prius led the segment, with 52.6 percent of new registrations. However, with more models entering the market, hybrid share for any given vehicle is being challenged. Overall, the hybrid category reflects just over one percent of all new-vehicle registrations in the United States.
Following the Toyota Prius, the Honda Civic was the second most registered hybrid model, taking 12.8 percent of the category, followed by the Lexus RX400h, which had 9.7 percent of all-new hybrid registrations. Combined, Toyota and Lexus had better than seven out of ten (70.7 percent) of all-new hybrid registrations in 2005
The core set of hybrid vehicles offered today are automobiles powered by internal combustion engines, but are also equipped with batteries recharged during driving and an electric motor to assist with power demand. Hybrids do not need to be plugged in, yet they deliver exceptional mileage compared to their gas-only counterparts as well as many other models. Hybrids are considered environmentally-friendly alternatives to traditional internal combustion vehicles.
California continues to lead the way for hybrids with 52,619 new hybrid vehicle registrations in 2005, up from 25,021 in 2004. California accounts for 26.4 percent of the nation’s share for new hybrid units (see Table 1). This outpaces second-ranked Florida by more than a five-to-one margin. Eight states (California, Florida, Texas, New York, Virginia, Illinois, Washington, and Pennsylvania) accounted for more than 56 percent of the nation’s hybrid registrations.
Supporting California’s regional leadership in this category, four of the country’s top 10 hybrid markets were from this state (Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Sacramento). Los Angeles remains the top metropolitan area for hybrid vehicles with 11.5 percent of all U.S. registrations in 2005.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials