Green triumphs over mean in global car choice survey

Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:11am EDT
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By Miral Fahmy

SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - Is green becoming mainstream? A new global survey shows nearly six in 10 people would choose an environment-friendly car over a petrol-powered one, even if they had all the money in the world.

The survey of 13,500 city dwellers in 18 countries, by market research firm Synovate, also showed that over a third of respondents said they would either use public transport, walk, or cycle more often this year, partly to save on fuel costs but also for the sake of the environment.

"More and more, owning a car may not be viewed as that responsible," said Scott Miller, CEO of Synovate Motoresearch. "But car makers are producing more and more options that will appeal to this fast-growing group of green-inclined people.

"Cars are freedom, and people value freedom. If they continue to enjoy guilt-free freedom, the car will stay a large part of daily lives for many people," he said in a statement.

The survey asked respondents to forget about cost and choose between "green" or "dream" -- that is an electric or hybrid car versus a luxury, powerful sports car.

The survey, conducted in March, included the world's top passenger car markets, China and the United States.

Even with money being no object, nearly 40 percent of respondents said green would be their preferred purchase. An additional 20 percent said green cars were their "dream" car.

More than 70 percent of Chinese said they would buy a green car, compared with 42 percent of Americans, the survey showed.   Continued...

<p>Electric powered G-Wiz cars are charged at the roadside in central London April 18, 2009. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor</p>