Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The 300 MPG Aptera (and it's EV cousin) May Finally Be On The Way

The Aptera is the car of the future that I have been watching with interest for quite some time. At under $30,000 it seemed too good to be true, and many thought that to be the case. Thankfully, as you'll see in this video from Popular Mechanics, it seems like the future may be coming sooner than we think.

Ok, so this may not be every one's idea of the perfect car. It's a side by side 2 seater, it only has three wheels, and it has limited trunk space (although in classic California style, it'll fit a surfboard just fine). That said, it's a huge step in the right direction and, as would be expected in the climate we are in, comes from an entrepreneur rather than a Detroit bigwig.

Aptera plans to release two models as early as the end of this year, a gas electric hybrid that can achieve 300 mpg and an all electric version with a 120 mile range and a 4-6 hour recharge time. One of the ways they achieve this is by basically eliminating anything that can cause drag which translates to lower gas mileage/range. Instead of side mirrors, there are streamlined video cameras. When not in use, the windshield wipers are hidden in a specially designed enclosed compartment. Solar panels on the roof help expel hot air while the car is parked, increasing efficiency and comfort while driving. These are just a few of the improvements they've made and if they sound insignificant, consider this - the drag created by the windshield wipers on a normal car is greater than the drag created by the entire Aptera vehicle.

The car is highway safe, has a top speed of 90 mph and will meet all federal safety regulations. Presently there are only plans to sell them in California (where the company is) as this is the best way that they can assure adequate maintenance, but eventually they'll be branching out. They already have over 400 deposits in hand and expect that number to rise.

Pretty cool. And if this isn't the car for you, fear not, we're only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

Live Sustainably


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