Over the last few years the choice in electric and hybrid vehicles has grown enormously. Celebrities and regular folk alike have begun to explore this realm of alternative vehicles. It all began back in 2002 when Calista Flockhart and now husband Harrison Ford, arrived at the Oscars in a Prius. This started a trend that would see numerous stars adopt a hybrid as their favored mode of transport. As the movement gained traction, with both the famous and the general population, an increased number of manufacturers began to embrace the hybrid/ electric movement. No longer limited to compact and sub compact car varieties, there are now high performance electric automobiles that can rival their fossil fuel contemporaries.
Although Flockhart and Ford might have been pioneers in the eco-friendly driving craze, they have not given themselves over to the ideal of green transport. Harrison Ford’s new toy is a 1955 Jaguar XK 140 Coupe and Flockhart has been seen driving a Lexus SUV, neither are very fuel efficient. There are a number of these types of celebrities who jumped on the hybrid bandwagon when the wave began, but have maintained their more traditional rides. These are not the type of celebrities we are honoring in this list. Neither are we ranking celebrities like Jay Leno, who own several electric cars but have a vast collection of eco-unfriendly vehicles that they use regularly.
We are looking for stars who want to take a serious stand on the reduction of gas emissions. Whether they drive an electric, hybrid or alternative fuel car they do so because they firmly believe that their action is helping the world at large. With their followings and influence they believe they can make a difference. We are looking for stars who, through their actions, have brought their vehicular choice, and the reasons for these choices, into the limelight. Some of the cars that these multi-millionaires drive are even affordable for non millionaires. It may just make fans think twice when buying their new automobile. Don’t most people want to drive the same car as their favorite star?
What follows is a list of 5 celebrities who have embraced the green motor revolution. They have enough money to purchase any car they want; yet they make their choices based on their convictions and for the greater good of the planet.
5. Larry David
Larry David is one of the most successful people to have ever worked in television. Beginning as a stand-up comedian, David went on to write and perform in ABC’s Fridays, a short lived sketch comedy show and SNL. His real success came when he teamed up with Jerry Seinfeld and created Seinfeld. Once the show was done, he focused on his own life and created the popular cable show Curb Your Enthusiasm, where he was often seen driving around in his Toyota Prius.
Although Larry David is worth $900 million the car in his show was not merely a prop. He has been an advocate for green automobiles for a while and the Prius is his vehicle of choice. There were even episodes of Curb where the Prius played a pivotal role. For his steadfast commitment to hybrid technology and his popularizing of the vehicle via his show, he is at number 5.
4. Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks got on the electric car bandwagon early. In 2003 he purchased a Rav4 EV, an electric version of the popular Toyota compact SUV. It is still on the road today. The highest grossing film star of all time can really afford any car, but he remains firmly entrenched in the electric car world. In 2009 Hanks wrote a letter to the New Yorker praising his electric car, commenting on its durability and environmental impact.
These days Hanks scoots around L.A in a AC propulsion eBox. The car is basically a Scion that has been fitted to become an entirely electric automobile. Hanks has been an outspoken proponent of electric vehicles for over a decade and is one of the most recognizable actors in the world. This places Tom number 4 on our list.
3. George Clooney
George Clooney was twice voted the sexiest man alive by People Magazine. What does an ultra wealthy two-time winner of this title drive? Is it a red Ferrari? Is it a classic muscle car? No it’s a Tango. We are not talking about the dance here, but a commuter car that is extremely small and narrow. So narrow that the passenger sits behind the driver as he would on a motorcycle. Driving this mini electrical wonder is not what makes Clooney number three; it is his continued belief in the electric alternatives after an awful personal experience.
Clooney owned a Tesla Roadster and hated it. He felt it was unreliable and did not deliver what was promised when bought. He was disappointed enough to mention his opinion on the electric car in an interview with Esquire Magazine. Despite this misfortune and dissatisfaction, he bought a Tango anyway. For this commitment we say: Great take place number 3!
2. Leonardo Di Caprio
Another big name Hollywood star who has embraced the electric ideal. Leo began as the owner of a hybrid Prius. He made his way up to a full electric when he bought a Tesla Roadster and continued the trend with his Fisker Karma plug in hybrid. Di Caprio does not stop at merely owning electric vehicles. In 2013, he joined forces with Monaco millionaire Gildo Pastor to create an electric racing team. They plan to race on the Formula E circuit, yes that’s right E as in electric, which is scheduled to debut in 2014. There should be ten teams competing.
By associating himself with this new racing league, Leo brings attention and fans to the project. If people begin to realize that electric cars can perform at high speeds, there might be a new group of potential customers who will turn to the electric alternative.
1. Neil Young
Neil Young drives a bio-electric LincVolt. Neil’s ride is a hybrid that combines electric and biofuel systems to power his 1959 Lincoln Convertible. The car suits Neil Young perfectly, but there is more to the story than just the car. Young chronicles his journey in the car as he uses it to protest against what he considers poor government policies. Young recently held a tour to speak out against the Oil Sand Development in Alberta Canada. To date many other prominent Canadian stars have thrown their support behind Neil’s quest.
Young not only drives an electric, biofuel hybrid car but also believes enough in the movement to use his celebrity status to protest the extraction of oil. His voice against the further development of the oil sands and the money he has raised to help the native people who have been affected by the project puts him in the top spot.