Survey: Greener Cars Are New Fashion Forward

If Americans had to choose between driving a car that was beautiful on the outside versus one that was "greener" on the inside, nearly eight in 10 Americans (79 percent) who plan to buy or lease a car within the next two years would choose the greener car.

These statistics are a result of a national survey recently conducted by Challenge X – a national collegiate engineering competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and General Motors (GM).

The survey also revealed more than one in three Americans (36 percent) who are on the fence about buying a hybrid vehicle say the tipping point to seriously consider the purchase would be if gas prices rose to $4 a gallon. Nearly three in four car buyers (73 percent) say the rising cost of traditional fuel would influence their decision to buy a hybrid vehicle as their next purchase.

Here are some additional Challenge X survey insights on how fuel efficiency is changing Americans' car consciousness:

• Close to nine in 10 women (88 percent) say they'd rather chat up someone with the latest fuel-efficient car versus the latest sports car.

• Eighty percent of American car buyers would find someone with the latest model fuel-efficient car more interesting to talk to at a party than someone with the latest model sports car.

• More than four out of 10 (45 percent) 18-43 year-olds say it's a fashion faux-pas nowadays to have a car that is not green or environmentally friendly.

• More than seven in 10 (73 percent) car buyers say if there were a reality TV show like "Project Runway" that was not about fashion design, but instead about designing the best-looking fuel-efficient and emissions-free car, they'd definitely watch.

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