The Aptera – Sensible car design

One of the things that makes me refer to the majority of anti-car types that make it into the media as Green Loonies or Tree Huggers is their inability to think laterally. While those who do not have some sort of undeclared agenda to ram down your throat are prepared to listen and discuss, the Looney Hugger has no time for reasoned debate, and sees only their view as correct, and anything less than 100% agreement will see you in Hell for daring to disagree and now “See the light”.

You can see a prime example of this in their ‘eyes-wide-shut’ vilification of SUVs. While I have no particular liking for these, the campaigners who target them for attacks are simply demonstrating their cowardice by vandalising them when they think no-one is looking, and their lack of thinking ability as they choose not to take into account the overall contribution made by them in terms of environmental impact when compared to other vehicles. In their eyes, ‘Any vehicle bad’, and easily targeted vehicle groups the baddest of the lot.

While they’d like us all to wind the perception of our ‘Needs, Wants, and Desires’ back to the pre-industrial ages, and either walkor ride everywhere, that’s simply not practical or realistic as we’ve taken decades to reach the position we are in now, and for better or worse, have to live within the infrastructure we have in place now, as it would take decades to change. They also conveniently forget we are becoming an increasingly ageing population, and have more people who have disabilities or medical conditions that mean they cannot use bicycles or walk everywhere, and even Public Transport, if anything more that a handful of places actually had an effective form, would be useless to them.

I was particularly interested to see a video presentation of the Aptera Electric Typ-1e. 300 miles to the gallon, and with a sticker price starting at $27,000 this actually looks like a car of the future. Set for release in 2008.

Unlike the more usual electric or hybrid solutions, Aptera have thrown away the conventional rule book and put together a transport solution that uses some of the best thinking and technology to provide a vehicle that provides a sensible duration, top speed, acceleration, and passenger carrying capacity. It’s not n SUV, van, people-carrier, towing vehicle, but will provide comfortable and efficient personal transport without producing the level of pollution or fuel consumption that a ‘conventional’ vehicle would in the same role.

Doubtless, the Green Loonies and Tree Huggers will still decry it for the teaspoonful of petrol, or spark of electricity it charges its battery with, however it provides a refreshingly different approach to the personal transport problem corner we have painted ourselves into, and avoids the ‘conventional wisdom’ that hampers the big car manufacturers minds (think Prius to see how they are limited in their thinking), and should also satisfy the requirements of the more reasonably minded green and/or environmentally amongst us.

While I’ll never be deranged enough to buy a new car with my own money (I’m not burning my hard-earned with those early depreciation years, let someone else pay that), if these were on the market I think I’d definitely be touring around the second-hand car dealers looking for a bargain.

Now the only question is: Will they ever make it to the UK? Will UK vehicle legislation kill their chances here before they even start?

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