News Release

Hybrid Vehicles Per Household in Washington Region Double National Average

May 16, 2006

According to new data that will be presented during tomorrow’s National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) meeting, the number of hybrid vehicles per household in the Washington D.C. region is double the national average. The data shows for the first time the effect that HOV privileges have had in Northern Virginia, which leads both Maryland and D.C. significantly in hybrid ownership. At almost 15 hybrids per 1,000 households, Prince William County, Virginia leads the region in hybrid ownership, with well over four times the national average.

The number of vehicles in the region, from passenger cars to SUVs to buses, totals over 3.3 million or 1.8 vehicles per household. About 60 percent are passenger vehicles (i.e., sedans, station wagons), 35 percent are light trucks (SUVs, pickup trucks), and 5 percent are heavy trucks and buses.

“This data set is the most accurate picture of the region’s vehicle fleet that we have ever had,” said Ron Kirby, COG Transportation Planning Director. “This is essentially a vehicle census because we now know just how many vehicles there are, how old they are, how big they are, and where they are located. The data will be very valuable for future transportation and air quality planning.”

The age and size of the region’s vehicle fleet will be used by the TPB to accurately forecast vehicle emissions. During the data collection process, TPB staff amassed current vehicle identification numbers (VINs) from state Departments of Motor Vehicles, and used new computer programs to decode the VINs and obtain the numbers of vehicles by age and type. The data was collected in July 2005.

More key findings:

  • Northern Virginia jurisdictions average 10.73 hybrids per 1,000 households compared to 3.66 in D.C. and 3.25 in Suburban Maryland.
  • 70% of the vehicles are passenger vehicles in the Regional Core. (D.C., Arlington, and Alexandria) 61% are passenger vehicles in the Inner Suburbs. (Fairfax, Montgomery and Prince George’s County) 51% are passenger vehicles in the Outer Suburbs. (Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Loudoun and Prince William)
  • There is an average of 1.24 vehicles per household in the Regional Core, an average of 1.89 vehicles per household in the Inner Suburbs and an average of 2.27 vehicles per household in the Outer Suburbs.

For additional data, graphs, and the full PowerPoint presentation, visit the TPB meeting page.

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