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02-14-2008: GM Premieres First Ever Fuel Cell, Hybrid SUV Fleet at the Oscars

Chevrolet Fuel Cell Equinox and GMC Yukon Hybrid Vehicles to Transport Hollywood's Hottest Talent in "Fuel-Friendly" Style

LOS ANGELES – The red-carpet arrivals at the 80th Annual Academy Awards® on Feb. 24, will be transformed with advanced technology vehicles from GMC and Chevrolet. This fuel-friendly fleet – larger than any other assembled for a major awards show before – will enable Hollywood’s hottest talent to enjoy stylish and environmentally friendly rides in one of more than 75 vehicles, including the GMC Yukon Hybrid, the zero-gas and zero-emissions Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell and the FlexFuel E85 ethanol-compatible GMC Yukon.

As the only ABC Network automotive sponsor of the 2008 Oscar® telecast, GMC and Chevrolet will bring hybrid and fuel cell technology to the forefront at the red carpet, and other Oscar Week events. The fleet continues GM’s major strategic effort to provide “fuel-friendly” vehicles to the entertainment industry and spread the word about GM’s environmentally-conscious cars, trucks and SUVs.

“GM’s longstanding relationship with Hollywood and our strong commitment to bringing advanced technologies to market that will help diversify fuel sources and reduce vehicle emissions makes this the perfect time for GM to drive ‘green’ to the Oscars,” said Dino Bernacchi, GM Director of Marketing Alliances and Branded Entertainment. “Our outreach to showcase GM’s ‘fuel-friendly’ products will be increasingly evident in the entertainment industry in 2008 with presence at awards shows, film festivals and special events, as well as a heightened product placement effort in movies and television.”

GM’s ramped-up efforts to drive Hollywood “green” began with “fuel-friendly” vehicles at the 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards and 39th NAACP Image Awards. Chevrolet is also reaching out to the next generation of tomorrow’s influencers with the first-ever “Chevy Rocks The Future” event on Feb. 19. GM already provides the largest “fuel-friendly” product placement fleet to Hollywood producers and directors with nearly 20 different vehicle types.

Later this quarter, Chevrolet will hand over the keys to Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles to major entertainment celebrities for everyday use as part of its Project Driveway program – an effort by Chevrolet to move fuel cell technology from the laboratory into consumers’ driveways.

The GMC Yukon Hybrid is the industry’s first full-size SUV hybrid. No other hybrid can offer the fuel efficiency and full-size SUV performance including seating for up to 8 passengers and 6,200 lbs. maximum towing.

The 2008 Yukon Hybrid boasts vastly improved fuel economy over its gasoline-only sibling. Two-wheel drive models, for example, deliver 21 mpg in the city, a 50-percent improvement over its 5.3L non-hybrid sibling and comparable to the much-smaller 2.4L-equipped Toyota Camry sedan, according to figures obtained from www.fueleconomy.gov.

This year’s Oscars will be the first major awards show where a fleet of fuel cell vehicles will provide transportation for celebrities. The Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell electric vehicle is a zero-gas, zero-emissions vehicle that makes no compromises, achieving 0 to 60 mph in 12 seconds, 236-lb.-ft. of instant torque and top speed of about 100 miles per hour. It seats four, sports 32 cubic feet of cargo volume for everybody’s gear, and has a range of approximately 150 miles per fill-up based on the new 2008 EPA adjusted measurement. The Equinox Fuel Cell also features full four-wheel ABS for controlled, confident stopping.

Aside from its dramatically different propulsion system, the Equinox Fuel Cell looks and drives much like a production Chevy Equinox (a small SUV).

In addition to the GMC Yukon Hybrid and Chevy Fuel Cell Equinox, a select number of FlexFuel E85 ethanol-compatible Yukon SUVs will drive to the red carpet. Biofuels such as E85 ethanol have tremendous potential to help offset the world’s growing energy demands, and General Motors offers more FlexFuel E85 ethanol-capable models than any other brand, with 2.5 million FlexFuel E85 ethanol vehicles currently on the road. FlexFuel E85 ethanol vehicles can run on either gasoline or E85 ethanol – a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline – or a combination of both.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) will present the 80th Annual Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2007, on Sunday, Feb. 24, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, televised live at 5 p.m. PST/8 p.m. EST by the ABC Television Network.