Recently, it seems that Opel (Euro One) and Peugeot (Velv) have taken it upon themselves to bridge the gap between automobiles and motorcycles. Rightfully so. There is so much to gain. But a job worth doing, is worth doing right.
There is more to mobility than making cars. Ever-growing traffic proves this. Time to do something about making transportation more efficient. Except for new technology cars, basically boxes on four wheels, have not changed that much, not really. There are just a whole lot more of them. But some things did change over the years. Energy comes at an increasingly steep price. Upcoming economies like China and India need more of it. Our living environment suffers. There is more CO2. We tend to wage war and befriend regimes for the sake of oil.
So, a very interesting question is how to have the automobile use up less energy and how to have it ’eat away’ less valuable resources all together? Preferably of course without compromising safety, comfort, the sheer pleasure of driving, and without making automobiles too costly to buy and operate. 90-95 % of all cars carry just one person, particularly during rush hours when traffic is at its worst. The long term expectations are that car ownership will increase. Small hatchbacks aren’t necessarily the answer. There’s an option that has been largely ignored by the industry: Narrow Track Vehicles. Sleek, streamlined, lightweight vehicles have many advantages: less fuel needed, therefore emitting less CO2, lean manufacturing potential and interesting, new design perspectives.
With its sleek and lightweight body the Space-Efficient Vehicle (SEV), depicted here, requires less material to produce, less fuel to propel and less space to do 99% of what the ’old car’ was doing. This New Isetta or Smart For Three is sleek enough to let governments utilize the infrastructure far more efficiently. The possibilities include opening up smaller -designated- lanes, allowing semi split-lane use, reconfigured parking lots and space-efficient interfaces with public transport. The SEV is safer, more comfortable and more practical than the Opel Euro One and the Peugeot Velv.
Aptera made the announcement that is ready to move its vehicle into production. The manufacturer began to hire workers in order to support the building process. The company’s goal for this year is to deliver the first Typ-1h and looking at how things work this goal may be easily achieved.
The car must also pass the crash tests but if we think at the fact that the car is designed by Jason Hill who designed cars like Smart and Porsche Carrera GT we assume that passing the safety tests will not be a problem for the Aptera Typ-1h.
Aptera Typ-1 will go into production in late 2008 and will be an all-electric and plug-in hybrid models. Aptera’s body materials and aerodynamics are borrowed from light aircraft and features 2.5 seats and three wheels. Can’t wait to see production version in October 2008!