Fuel efficient vehicles to the rescue!

The market is responding to energy prices with a raft of new fuel efficient commuter vehicles. I thought I’d mention a few here – many of these vehicles or modifications are competing for the X-Prize, and a few, like Hymotion’s BREM for the Toyota Prius, are available today. The automotive market is changing fast, and 100 mpg looks like it will become a realistic target for drivers in the next few years! Where available, each model’s projected cost, mileage (for commute purposes), and top speed are provided.

Available Today:

Hymotion BREM for 04-08 Toyota Prius – $9995 (plus the price of a Prius), 100mpg, 100+ mph top speed. Hymotion’s battery-range extender module converts a standard 46mpg Prius into a 100mpg plug-in hybrid for under $10,000, and is available today in a handful of major cities.

Tesla Motors – $100,000, 200mpg, 140mph top speed. You can have a high-performance electric car today that costs 2 cents per mile to drive, if you’ve got 100k to burn.

Available by 2010/2011:

Chevy Volt – Exact details unknown (more here), but GM is aiming for a 2010 release of the plug-in hybrid Volt, which will have an all-electric range of 40 miles, and effective mpg of 100+ when used as a commuter vehicle.

Phoenix Motorcars’ Electric Truck – $47,500, 100+ mpg (exact figure unknown), 100mpg top speed.  Phoenix has developed all-electric truck and SUV models that it is currently selling to fleets, and will release to the public in 2010.

Poulsen Hybrid – Poulsen is developing a conversion technology which can be installed on the rear wheels of any vehicle to turn it into a hybrid.

Nissan has announced work on an electric vehicle with a 2010/2011 delivery date, but few details are available.

Toyota is working on a plug-in version of the Prius with a 2010 deliver date as well.

Small Commuter Vehicles: Most available in 2009-2010

GreenVehicles Triac – $20k expected price, 200+ effective mpg, 80mph top speed, and 100 mile range. The Triac is a three-wheeled commuter vehicle designed to help urban commuters park their larger vehicles during the daily grind.

Aptera – $30k, 230mpg, 85mph top speed. Another three-wheeled vehicle, Aptera looks more like a plane than a car, but still has two seats plus space for a child car-seat in rear.

Venture One – $20-25k, 100+ mpg, 100mph top speed. This three-wheeled commuter vehicle looks more like a motorcycle, and incorporates technology that enables it to automatically “lean” as it moves through curves.

Commuter Cars – Tango T600 available today for $108k, T100 target of $20k, 100mpg+, 120mph+ top speed. George Clooney owns a T600, whose tandem seating allows for two passengers or a rear child seat.

Fuel Vapor Ale’ – $75k, 92mpg achieved to date, 100mph+. This is another three-wheeled commuter car, but it’s shaped a bit like a rocket and is designed for high-end performance.

This list is not exhaustive, though I believe I’ve covered most of the credible efforts currently afoot. Feel free to add others in the comments below if you feel they were erroneously omitted.

One thought on “Fuel efficient vehicles to the rescue!

  1. I’d like to recommend a new low cost neighborhood vehicle (for non-freeway driving) that uses modern technology like AC motor with regenerative breaking for only $11,995 – It’s made by the same company that makes the Triac. So if you want to save 50% on fuel – just buy a second car for your (or your kids) local commutes. You can find-out more at http://www.HiddenBuzz.com

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