2 minute read
Nadia Mustafa

Move over, yellow cab. Jordan Harris and Roo Rogers are giving New York City’s 13,000 taxis and 20,000 town cars some eco-conscious competition. Last September the longtime friends co-founded OZOcar, the city’s first hybrid-car service. Since then their fleet has grown to 75 and includes the Toyota Prius, Lexus GS 450h sedan and Lexus RX 400h and Toyota Highlander SUVs. “Everybody’s got the latest, greatest iPod and cell phone,” says Harris, 52. “Why should we accept antiquated transportation, especially when it does so much damage?”

At the low speeds typical in dense urban areas, OZOcars run on electricity, which means zero emissions. Compared with town cars and taxis, the Prius produces 60% less greenhouse gases and 90% less smog emissions, and it uses 70% less fuel. And while it takes up 25% less space than a town car, its interior has only 2.5 in. less leg room. The cars are not just eco-friendly but are also chic, equipped with wireless Web, Apple iBooks, Sirius satellite radio, refreshments and other amenities.

Harris and Rogers, 31, were activists long before launching OZOcar. Harris, former chairman of Virgin Records in the U.S., lives in a solar-powered house. In 1991 he co-founded Rock the Vote to get young people involved in politics, and in 2002 he organized Green Car to the Red Carpet, persuading Oscars-bound celebs to swap their limos for hybrids. Meanwhile, Rogers was doing relief work with UNICEF in Sudan and later founded the socially conscious film company Drive Thru Pictures. The duo hopes to drive OZOcar into other cities, starting with London this fall.

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