Instead of ruing the high gas prices or covering the glut of “free fuel!” offers many hotels are offering these days, let’s focus on the positive alternatives to gas-chugging road trips looming on the horizon. Close your eyes and imagine it: You pull your purring electric car out of your garage, its battery fully charged from your home solar array. You drive a hour to that little bed-and-breakfast you’ve been meaning to check out. The kindly inn keepers let you juice up your vehicle using their wind turbine power so you’ll be ready for the drive back the next morning. Now that’s eco-travel.
Toyota displayed their plug-in Prius yesterday for a congressional hearing on electric drive vehicles. The hybrid leader reports the car will be able to go up to 60 miles an hour on battery power alone. Toyota has been teasing us with the prototypes by giving several over for testing on two University of California campuses and using the vehicles to transport important execs during this year’s North American International Auto Show. The car is expected to go public in 2009.
(Source: PR Newsire)
Treehugger (and a whole bunch of green car blogs) reports a former VW design exec has teamed up with a Swiss tycoon to create Six50, a lightweight (and may I say pretty dang sweet looking) hybrid. It runs on a lithium ion battery with a gas motor and roof solar panels as back-up. It’s supposed to be able to go around 62 miles on one battery charge. Don’t get too excited yet, though. Although the car is burning up the blogs, it’s still in development. Prices are rumored to be around 50,000. Euros.
And for an in-depth feature on the Chevy Volt, coming in 2010 if engineers can stay on schedule, pick up the current issue of The Atlantic, or just click here.