The number of hybrid vehicles registered in the U.S. rose by more than 81-percent over the past year, but growth in that industry has been a bit slower in Iowa. Automotive industry analyst Mark Pauze says vehicles that run on both electricity and gasoline are catching on, gradually. Pauze says “There’s a few things playing into that. Obviously there’s some social consciousness as far as people wanting to have vehicles that are cleaner, that are not as polluting, as well as the elevated gas prices that I think isn’t hurting the whole market either.” In Iowa, there were 393 new hybrid vehicle registrations last year, a jump from 241 the year before, or an increase of about 63-percent. Pauze expects that trend to continue. He says “Every major manufacturer has more hybrids slated for introduction over the next few years, so in addition to the vehicles that are currently on the market, there are also going to be full-size pick-ups and other S-U-Vs that will be available so it’ll be a pretty wide range of choice for consumers.” With the nearly 400 registrations, Iowa ranked 35th in the U.S. last year for hybrid vehicles. California was first with 25-thousand vehicles.
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