Feedback from customers is leading Toyota to examine ways to make their hybrid vehicles more noticably hybrid, including more obtrusive badging and a pine tree sticking through the sunroof. Hybrid customers, it seems, are less interested in quietly doing their part to reduce dependence on foreign oil, preserve the environment and spend less on gas than they are being seen doing so. It's the first study we've seen that validates the fashion-victim portion of hybrids' allure, and a 180-degree turnabout from earlier feedback โ€” during development of the Prius โ€” that customers did not want their cars to stand out. Sheeple, indeed.

Toyota: Hybrid drivers want to stand out [CNN Money]

More on alternative energy [internal]