RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
Lets turn to some well-off people trying to avoid the embarrassment of pulling up to the red carpet on this Sunday for the Oscars in a gas guzzling limo or SUV.
NPR's Ben Bergman reports there are options.
BEN BERGMAN: Can celebrities have their environmental cake and eat it too? Econation co-founder Ben Bloch thinks so.
(Soundbite of door closing and bell ringing)
BERGMAN: We've just closed the doors to a hulking, black GMC Yukon - with three roomy rows of seats, an entertainment system, and plenty of refreshments, including Fiji water. And the most important feature - this is a hybrid.
Mr. BEN BLOCH (Co-founder, Econation): A lot of people still don't think these are very environmentally friendly, but they really are. They're quite good on gas mileage, actually better than what we've seen them project.
BERGMAN: That's 20 miles per gallon in the city, which could seem economic-friendly only compared to the 15 miles per gallon on the non-hybrid model. Econation does business all over the world, but its biggest success has come in the image-obsessed world of entertainment. The company has contracts with most of the major Hollywood studios and will be taking dozens of stars to the Oscars.
Mr. BLOCH: We've had a lot of celebrities say you know what, I've been rolling around in such a big SUV that's not green and feeling bad about it for a while, just because I see all these other people doing this and I don't necessarily know enough about it yet, but you know what, I want to start by doing something.
BERGMAN: The most popular vehicle at Econation is the classic Lincoln Town Car, fueled by compressed natural gas.
For many clients though, Bloch says only one car will do.
Mr. BLOCH: You'd be surprised the kind of people who will only take a Prius. A lot of big names you know, a lot of the heads of studios. I mean it's amazing because even the times where we've said can we put you in something else they've said, no, that's all I ever want to be in.
BERGMAN: And if you do go with the Prius, just be sure to keep your entourage small - and don't forget to leave room for the chauffeur.
Ben Bergman, NPR News, Los Angeles.
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