Contributing Monkie G Monkie
Published on January 27, 2008
The car of the future finally rolled out at this year’s TED conference, and wow, it looks like the future has arrived. For those of us who are looking to decrease our dependence on foreign oil and lower our carbon footprints, the Aptera may likely become our new standard. It was launched from the business incubator Idealab and has received quite a bit of attention due to its fuel efficiency, affordability, and design.
The Aptera concept car (actually it’s not a concept anymore, it’s real) gets 200+ miles per gallon using a hybrid diesel/electric engine. It also has the option of the latest appointments, such as side airbags, “solar assisted” climate control system, reverse camera, GPS tracking system, and other modern gadgets. And Aptera has made a commitment to keep the price low enough that these cars will be affordable – about $25K-$30K. You can even reserve one now for $500, with the first models due to roll out in about 12 months.
This isn’t your mother’s hybrid. It looks a bit more like an egg on ice skates than a “car”, but it is sleek and stylish, borrowing its aerodynamics from sea mammals and its construction materials from the aerospace industry. If safety is a concern, Aptera reports that both the materials and design make it as safe as a racecar — directing impacts away from a well-protected “cocoon” around the passenger area.
Not a family car… It’s only a two-seater and it doesn’t seem like there is much “trunk” space, so it’s designed with the commuter in mind. I hope that if sales are good, a larger version will roll out soon. For now, I’m just glad to see someone has brought some sense back to an industry that got carried away with “bigger is better.”