Ford C-Max Energi PHEV

Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) appear to have outsold battery electric vehicles in California by about a two-to-one margin since the Toyota Prius Plug-in started US sales earlier this year, according to the state's Center for Sustainable Energy.

To date, the state has given out about 7,400 clean-vehicle rebates for EV owners, compared to about 6,500 for PHEV owners. That sounds like a clean with for EVs, but that lead is a result of virtually no PHEV rebates given out until this March. Since then, just 2,800 rebates have been distributed to owners of EVs such as the Nissan Leaf. PHEV rebate numbers were helped by the fact that the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in became eligible for them in February.

The numbers are a barometer of US demand for electric-drive vehicles because California is the most populous US state and by far the largest US market for alt-fuel vehicles. Through November, Toyota sold almost 11,400 Prius Plug-ins, while General Motors sold almost 21,000 Volts, compared to the 8,330 Nissan Leafs sold this year. Additionally, Ford sold 1,259 of its C-Max Energi PHEVs during that model's first full month of sales.

Folks can check out the state statistics here.