From: Mary Milliken, Reuters
Published February 22, 2007 12:00 AM

Green Limo Line at Oscars Gets Longer and Sexier

HOLLYWOOD -- From a plug-in hybrid car to the sexy electric Tesla Roadster, celebrities wanting to make a green statement on the way to the red carpet of the Oscars will have plenty of environment-friendly rides this Sunday.

Global Green USA has lined up 30 cars to shuttle the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Davis Guggenheim, director of the Oscar-nominated documentary on global warming "An Inconvenient Truth", to the star-studded ceremony in Hollywood.

The environmental group began the green limousine campaign five years ago at the Oscars to raise awareness among the tens of millions of viewers worldwide about alternative fuel cars, energy independence and solutions to global warming.

DiCaprio was among the first celebrities to take the green ride to the Academy Awards, the world's top film honors that will be given out this year on Feb. 25.

"The past years we only worked with the hybrid cars and this year we really wanted to promote alternative fuels and different technologies that represent what's next," said Matt Petersen, chief executive of Global Green USA.

On a Hollywood parking lot ahead of Wednesday's Global Green USA celebrity party, Steve Schneider showed off his tiny $10,000 ZAP (Zero Air Pollution) cars made in California. One was a mini pick-up and the other a three-wheeler.

"It is the first time that common people can be introduced to this type of technology," said Schneider. "We are trying to have mass appeal. This vehicle operates at a cost of a penny a mile."

But it is the two-seat, scarlet-colored prototype of the Tesla Roadster, invented and financed in Silicon Valley, that will be the coveted car pulling up to the red carpet.

Already 330 celebrities, including George Clooney, have signed up to buy the electric car that goes from 0 to 60 mph in four seconds -- "faster than most Porsches," according to Tesla Motors vice president Darryl Siry.

Production will begin later this year and the base price is $92,000, although the company also is working on a sedan that will cost between $50,000 and $65,000.

But organizers were secretive about who would be the lucky passenger to ride in the Tesla Sunday.

Would it be the sultry Spaniard and best actress nominee Penelope Cruz, who was also attending Wednesday's green party?

"Only if I'm driving," said Siry.

Source: Reuters

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