Diesel cars and pickups are definitely catching on across the U.S. There has been a 24 percent increase in diesel car and pickup registrations from 2010 to 2012, according to the Diesel Technology Forum, which analyzed car registrations collected by R.L. Polk and Co.

Diesel car, pickup and sport utility vehicle registrations increased from 640,779 in 2010 to 796,794 at the end of 2012, a 24.34 percent increase. The increase is dramatic, since total vehicle registrations increased by just 2.75 percent over the same time period.

The Diesel Technology Forum noted that the fastest growth purchasing diesel cars and SUVs over the last two years occurred in California with 55 percent, Massachusetts with 45 percent and New York with 43 percent. The fastest growth of diesel pickup trucks during the same time period occurred in Montana with 10 percent, Nebraska and Maine with 9 percent, and Pennsylvania with 8 percent.

While those states have the fastest growth of diesel vehicles being purchased and registered in the state, the state with the highest number of diesel passenger-vehicle registrations in 2012 was Texas with 775,395 vehicles, followed distantly by California with 572,303 vehicles and even more distantly by Florida with 292,692 vehicles.

The number of diesel cars, pickups and SUVs will more than double within the next two years as automakers work to meet the new 54.5 mpg fuel-efficiency standards. Currently, there are 27 diesel vehicles available for sale in the U.S.

Do you own a diesel vehicle? What made you make the switch?

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.