If I had to take a guess, I admit that California would have been my first choice.  If not CA, maybe Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts or New York.  And if you're guessing any of those states you're not even close.

Believe it or not, it's Georgia. In a study released last week by Diesel Technology Forum, Georgia ranks No. 1 among states nationwide in fastest growth of all hybrid passenger vehicles in 2012-2013.   Is your state in the top 10?

Here are the top 10 states for fastest growth of hybrid vehicles from 2012 to 2013:
 1. Georgia (54.3%); 2. Oklahoma (47.3%); 3. Michigan (35.7%); 4. (Illinois 33.8%) ; 5. Alabama (30.1%); 6. South Carolina (27.6%); 7. California (27.4%); 8. Missouri (27.2%); 9. Hawaii (26.7%); 10. Arizona (26.3%).

“People's choice of vehicles and choice of fuel are associated with tax incentives, and, in Georgia, the incentives are very limited, so that shows there’s a genuine interest, which is good,” said Butch Miller, general manager and vice president of Milton Martin Honda in Gainesville, GA. 

Diesel Technology Forum’s analysis is based on data that includes the registration statistics of all passenger vehicles compiled by R.L. Polk and Co. in all 50 states and the District of Columbia through Dec. 31.

The study covers both hybrid vehicles, which run on gas and electricity, and clean-diesel vehicles.  In other results, Georgia ranked No. 10 among states having the most hybrid passenger vehicles, or 76,168, registered in 2013. California had the most, with 698,560.

But then California is the most populated state in the country, with 38 million people. Georgia, with nearly 10 million people, is the ninth most populated state.

Still, the Gainesville Times says hybrids aren’t rolling off car lots like bread off grocery shelves, according to area dealerships.

“We’re not selling as many as we thought we would,” said William Ferguson, general sales manager at Greene Ford in Gainesville. For some, the higher price tags that hybrids carry “outweigh the benefits” of owning such a car, he said.

Miller said standard-fuel cars getting better gas mileage also played a key role in hybrid sales. “That’s forcing hybrids to raise the bar again,” he said.

“Consumers have an ever-growing number of choices for more fuel-efficient vehicles, and this analysis shows that clean diesels are gaining in popularity all across the nation,” said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

Diesel car registrations are up 30 percent since 2010 while the overall market only increased 3.6 percent.

In 2013, diesel registrations increased by 410,040 nationally, and hybrids increased by 531,385. The analysis also showed while overall diesel sales were up 30 percent in the 2010-2013 period, hybrid sales increased by 64.5 percent.