For under $30,000, you will soon be able to buy an electric car with a 120 mile range, or a plug-in hybrid that gets 300 miles-per-gallon.
Sound like a fantasy, but this one could be coming to a dealer near you. Slated for release in late 2008, the company Aptera will be offering the initial limited release of their fully electric model Aptera Typ1, and the 300 mpg plug-in will follow in 2009.
At first glance, this thing looks as ungainly and futuristic as other highly efficient, low-drag vehicles (it reminds me of a wingless Cessna 206). But before you pass judgment, check out the test drive video from Popular Mechanics. Also see the short video segment below. This thing cruises, topping out at 85 mph:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZU7r5tDxO3U" width="425" height="355" wmode="transparent" /]
Aptera’s car is really a study in advanced aerodynamics. As the PM video points out, the Typ1 has embedded body panels, glass, and even windshield wipers to reduce drag. You’ll also notice it has only three wheels, which makes it legally registered in California as a motorcycle (and eligible for use of carpool lanes). It also has some nifty features, like recycled interior components, and embedded side and rear video cameras that replace side- and rear-view mirrors. Solar cells on the roof supplement internal climate control and shunt warm cabin air out the back of the vehicle—further improving efficiency and decreasing drag.
It should only take a few hours to charge the Typ1’s 10-kilowatt lithium-ion battery packs, at a cost of $1 to $2 (based on typical California electricity prices).
Aptera is currently taking refundable $500 reservations on their website.
More Electric Cars:
For more information, see the following:
Popular Mechanics (Nov. 20, 2007): 300-mpg, Electric Aptera Typ-1 Ready for 2008 Production
Popular Mechanics (Dec. 21, 2007): Aptera’s Super-MPG Electric Typ-1 e: Exclusive Video Test Drive
TreeHugger (Nov. 19, 2007): Unveiled: Aptera Typ-1 100% Electric and Series Hybrid Vehicles
Photo Credit: Aptera