Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Haute Couture Cars With Zero Emissions: Cool Cars That Run on Green Energy Means Mega Fuel Efficiency

While nothing beats walking, cycling or public transportation to keep you and Planet Earth in shape, a cool, fuel efficient vehicle is everyone’s fantasy. Sleek design, aerodynamics, alternative energy fueled, light weight and/or recharged in a standard electric outlet are the qualities that make this dream come true. And don’t forget your $7,500 U.S. tax credit on battery powered vehicles. In the U.K., the electric car initiative is so strong that even some supermarkets are offering electric charging while you shop.

Tesla Motors Roadster

At the top of our list is the ultra hot Roadster. The sleek carbon fiber Lotus body with its powerful, efficient engine, fast acceleration and zero emissions makes this baby much more than eye candy, a clear winner, if you cough up the $128K+ price tag. What else do you get for your money?

• peak torque at 0 rpm up to 14,000 rpm
• standard electric charge - plugs into 120V wall socket or 240 V dryer outlet
• solar panels can be installed to use 100% renewable energy
• 4 hour charge with Home Connector at $3K
• charge integrated into the power train
• 244 miles per charge

Aptera 2e

Is it a bird, a plane? No, it’s supercar! Nothing beats the amazing aerodynamic design of this cool eco vehicle. Co-founders Steve Fambro and Chris Anthony used birds as their inspiration to get rid of drag and increase efficiency with a composite body system, lighter than steel, that glides through wind. Designed as either an electric or hybrid vehicle, the Aptera 2e only sets you back $25 - $45K, depending on the model. Why choose this groovy green car?

• super efficient unlike standard cars that push air out of the way at
55 m.p.h.
• seats and carpet made from recycled plastic bottles and cups
• charged by a standard outlet
• 100 miles per charge.
• half the weight of an average vehicle
• body incorporates race car technology to deflect energy upon impact

Air Car

Not quite the sporty type, we had hopes and dreams for the MDI Air Car
because of its cool design, nominal price tag and conceptual approach to air compression as the unlimited energy source fueling this zero pollution vehicle. Prototypes and versions such as the above Air Car Taxi have been tooling around Europe for quite some time but when we searched for an update on production at Zero Pollution Motors, MDI Air Car and India-based Tata Motors, where it was slated to debut, it was up in the air, so to speak, with lots of controversy surrounding its viability. We at The Groovy Mind are banking on the future of this innovative renewable energy vehicle.

Meanwhile, a proliferation of R&D is under way on sustainably designed hybrid vehicles taking the Automotive X Prize challenge. Among them Visionary Vehicles and the Velozzi should be on your watch list. All the car makers are jumping in on the frey. Would you believe there’s going to be a Ferrari hybrid out this year? Stay tuned for what’s rad and what’s bad at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit from January 11 – 24.