Car services expand rides while staying green


Green car services have been around for a few years but now "people want to have their cake and eat it, too," says Y. Fray, the CEO of Ecolimo, an alternative fuel, luxury chauffeur company. That's because, even if Hollywood claims to love all things green, "they also want big cars. They want the flash of it all -- their stretch limousines and SUVs."

Ecolimo has been chauffeuring around Hollywood since 2004. "In the beginning, the green transportation movement was geared toward very small cars." And although Fray notices that most limousine companies have decreased their stretch limousine fleets in recent years, she admits that those companies would increase their numbers again if limos were really green.

Enter Krystal Enterprises, the world's largest manufacturer of stretch limousines. In collaboration with Clean Energy Fuels, BAF Technologies and Ford engineers, the company has developed the first stretch-limo powered by compressed natural gas.

Fray advises eco-conscious customers to do their homework because there's a lot of green washing in this business -- companies pretending to jump on the green bandwagon as a ploy rather than a commitment. "Just because you have a little green leaf on your Web site doesn't necessarily mean that your company is green," Fray says.

For studios looking to book their own green fleet, Fray suggests asking for third-party reporting on the provider's sustainability and proof that they're offsetting carbon in a meaningful way. "It's a three-prong thing: protection of our natural resources, the reduction of emissions and the reduction on foreign oil."

Because it is possible to simultaneously go big and go green, Fray says. "SUVs can even run on methane gas. There are garbage trucks in Palos Verdes that run on that. You can have your cake, just make sure that you're committed to it."