Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Aptera is set to start making cars this year.

VISTA, California (Reuters) - Thousands of miles (kilometres) west of Detroit, a California start-up hopes to find a market for a three-wheeled, ultra-efficient, downright odd-looking car among consumers sick of spending their hard-earned cash at the gas pump.

The Aptera is an egg-shaped two-seater often likened to a space-age car from the futuristic 1960s cartoon "The Jetsons." Looking more like an aircraft than a road vehicle, it is a far cry from the hybrid sedans and electric sports cars being produced by conventional automakers.

Riding in the all-electric version of the Aptera feels similar to a regular car, although its roof-attached doors make getting in and out a challenge. Its long shape provides extra legroom and the car runs with a tinny, high-pitched hum.

To the executives behind the vehicle, its aerodynamic design and 100 miles per gallon (42 km per liter) range points the way to the future. And, with 4,000 customer orders already, they believe they have the early following to back up that confidence.

Aptera is claiming 230 mph with its hybrid!

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