by Steve Siler
When a press release starts with a headline characterizing something as “the Prius” of anything, it becomes literary tee-ball for scribes who may not be so pious about the Prius. We usually pass on such low-hanging fruit, but a new solar-hybrid production trailer dubbed Helios, “the Prius of production trailers,” is just too juicy not to snatch off the PR tree. For those outside of Hollywood, production trailers are the mobile homes of the entertainment industry, the things that provide movie stars and production crews respite from the sun during shoots.
Helios was created by King Kong Production Vehicles of Newport Beach, California. And here we thought King Kong’s environmental efforts were limited to farting kilotons of CO2 into the atmosphere after each banana binge. KKPV’s efforts, on the other hand, include the utilization of a solar generator in addition to a bio-diesel generator, as well as the installation of bamboo cabinetry, recycled-glass desks and countertops, and recycled-rubber flooring. King Kong claims there are “more than 12 additional important environmental, state-of-the-art advances that make Helios the most environmentally friendly trailer ever built,” but apparently doesn’t find them important enough to mention individually. We presume they would make the Prius proud, if in fact there was any connection to the Prius. (Toyota assures us there is not.)
Testimonials from famous Priusites such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Julia Roberts were not made available, probably because there aren’t any; King Kong says that the sole Helios trailer currently in use has been used as a production office, not a star trailer. King Kong does claim, however, that during one long production day recently, the solar generator alone provided all necessary power, saving 28 gallons of diesel fuel.
Speaking of diesel fuel, however green the humongous Helios trailer may be when parked, it still has to be pulled around by a diesel-swilling truck, somewhat diminishing its Prius cred. Might we suggest that task be assigned to one of Toyota’s upcoming Hino-branded hybrid commercial trucks, considered to be—you guessed it—the Prius of commercial trucks? Add regenerative trailer brakes and King Kong might as well call Helios the Priusstream.