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OZOcar Service Offers Environmentally Safe Alterna

OZOcar Service Offers Environmentally Safe Alternative To Taxis

October 05, 2005

Taxi and livery cabs may still be the easiest way to get around our vast city, but a new car service that calls itself more responsible is fighting for your riding dollar. In the following report, NY1 Tech Beat Reporter Adam Balkin has more on a fleet that also promises to help you be more productive on the road.

Would you give up a ride in a limo or even a Lincoln Town Car for a ride in a Toyota? OZOcar thinks you will.

OZOcar, just a week old, is a new livery car service that is betting you and your conscience will prefer a ride from its all-hybrid fleet.

“Compared to a Lincoln Town Car or a yellow cab, this car produces 90 percent fewer smog causing emissions, it uses 70 percent less fuel, and is incredibly efficient,” says Jordan Harris of OZOcar. “The hybrid, the way it works, it has an electric motor and gasoline engine that work in tandem, and at lower speeds. And when you think about when you travel around in Manhattan, this car will drive completely on its electric motor, which in fact would make it a zero emissions vehicle most of the time. What we're providing is a smarter choice and a more responsible choice.”

While the inside isn't quite as roomy as a typical Lincoln Town Car, about 2.5 inches shorter, it's what else is inside OZOcar is hoping will help sweeten the deal.

“Every car comes with an Apple iBook connected automatically to the Internet,” says Roo Rodgers of OZOcar. “If you have your own computer you can get online either through the Wi-Fi that’s in the car or through the LAN connection that is also in the car. It's Verizon high speed Internet access, and it's with the car everywhere you go, even in the tunnels. The satellite radio is Sirius Radio, and so what we’re trying to do is create an environment which is both good to work in and also enjoyable and relaxing.”

Some car experts think OZOcar is onto something here, and has a very promising future, both for itself and the environment.

“When you combine yellow taxi cabs, neighborhood cabs and the black limo services that mainly service Manhattan, there are more than 31,000 of these vehicles on the road at any given moment. Imagine all of them sitting in traffic spewing pollutants – it’s a major source of pollution,” says Robert Sinclair Jr. of the Automobile Club of New York. “So with the idea that they're going to be switched over to hybrids it's certainly a good thing. It's going to save gasoline and you've got the corresponding decrease in pollution.”

So what will it cost to ride in green luxury? A trip in the Prius is $60 to Newark Airport or JFK, and $45 to LaGuardia. The price runs around 20 percent more if you decide to take the Lexus hybrid.

Right now OZOcar is just in New York. Next up is London, with other cities still to be determined.

- Adam Balkin

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