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Fabio stars in electric vehicle public service announcement

November 30, 2010 |  4:02 pm

Electric vehicles can be pretty sexy -– those curves, that eco-friendly spirit! -– but a nonprofit advocacy group has found a way to turn up the heat even more.

The name of that secret spice: Fabio, he of the flowing mane and rippling muscles gracing the covers of countless romance novels.

The male model, surnamed Lanzoni, stars in Plug In America’s newest public service announcement about "greenwashing" from oil companies and the advantages of battery-powered driving.

Fabio is on-screen for fewer than 10 seconds and has no dialogue, but in that time, “The Face” shows off a glinting smile and gently waving long locks.

“We needed someone who was the epitome of handsome, manly and suave,” said producer Alexandra Paul, who in addition to her ardor for green transportation is also known for her role as Lt. Stephanie Holden in the television series "Baywatch."

Actor George Clooney, an electric vehicle driver, was apparently otherwise occupied.

The video spot, titled “Hype,” spoofs Apple Inc.’s Mac versus PC ads. The two previous ads -– “Cell Phone” and “Ocean Crude” -– are showing online on television show-watching site Hulu.

Once all seven ads are complete, they will cover multiple topics including the true cost of gasoline and electric vehicle maintenance in less than 45 seconds each. The spots are being funded by thousands of dollars in donations and made with donated time from 60 crew members, many of them electric vehicle drivers.

Fabio was driven to the set in a Tesla, which organizers said he loved. And he was loved right back.

"Yes, he still has that magnetism,” Paul said. “I cannot explain it, but the man's still got it."

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-- Tiffany Hsu

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