Aptera - Good, Clean, Fun!
If you've ever watched an episode of the Jetsons and wondered when all that cool space age stuff was going to happen, your wait is over. While the Tesla turns heads with it's Lotus-inspired style, the Aptera is in a league of it's own, looking like some type of hip space pod sent down to Earth on an exploratory mission. I can't wait to drive this thing and hopefully we'll get Michelle behind the wheel when we visit the folks at Aptera next month. Until then, here's some pics and information about this super cool eco friendly three wheeled bundle of fun.
Steve Fambro was working as an engineer in Carlsbad, California, but what he really wanted to do was design his own eco friendly automobile. So what did he do? He quit the job and created the Aptera. A prototype was created and is now production ready. The array of standard features is impressive indeed:
- Driver and passenger side Airbags
- Energy absorbing and impact deflecting passenger Safety Cell
- Advanced drive computer with GPS navigation, CD/MP3/DVD player, XM satellite radio, Large View Rear Camera, and complete vehicle diagnostic system
- "Eyes Forward" vision system with 180 degree rear sight picture displayed in the driver's field of view to enhance situational awareness
- LED interior and exterior lighting for maximum energy efficiency
- Solar assisted Climate Control System so you always enter a comfortable Aptera that is never too hot or cold
- RFID(Radio Frequency ID) key fob so you never have to pull out your keys to enter or start your Aptera. The key fob simply remains in your pocket or purse.
Depending on your needs you can choose from two options:
All Electric - Powered exclusively with batteries and will get you around town to the tune of approximately 120 miles depending on your driving conditions. At night you simply plug the Aptera into any standard 110 volt outlet and in just a few hours you will have a fully charged vehicle that will take you another 120 miles. The approximate cost of this option with all the features listed above will be $26,900.
Plug-in Series Hybrid - Powered by an electric drive train but it is assisted by a fuel efficient gasoline powered generator which stretches your range significantly. In typical driving you may achieve over 300 miles per gallon and you will have range far beyond any passenger vehicle available today. The approximate cost of this option with all the features listed above will be $29,900.
We'll be visiting the folks at Aptera soon and hopefully we'll have a TV clip for you shortly. For now, you can reserve your very own Aptera for only $500. The first vehicles are expected to be delivered to customers sometime in 2008 so get your order in now at www.aptera.com.
TESLA - This Red Rocket is Actually Green
Imagine a sports car that turns heads like a Lotus, accelerates faster than a Porsche 911, is all electric (yes, we said all electric) and goes more than 240 miles on a single charge. Imagine no more because this sleek eco-friendly speed machine is the one and only Tesla Roadster. High profile celebrities like George Clooney and Matt Damon have already put down deposits for theirs. Chris Paine, a director who showed a glimpse of the Tesla in his documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car?" has his $5,000.00 deposit down as well. (Michelle and all of us here are big fans of this documentary and highly recommend you drop it into your Netflix queue ASAP). There's a long waiting list for the Tesla Roadster, which lists for a cool $98,000.00. The first year's production of 600 cars is already sold out.
The body is based on the Lotus Elise. In fact, Lotus is building the Roadster for Tesla in their plant in England. The Tesla is powered by over 6,800 AA battery sized lithium-ion cells, similar to the ones in your laptop. Just plug in the Tesla before you go to sleep at night and you're ready to get up and go.
Lots of major Silicon Valley big shots are banking on Tesla Motors. Tesla, named for the inventor of alternating current, was launched by a team that includes Chairman Elon Musk, known for co-founding a little thing called PayPal and more recently SpaceX, which is developing rockets for eventual human transportation. Tesla Co-founder Martin Eberhard previously founded NuvoMedia, the company that created the market for electronic books. Investors include Jeff Skoll, eBay's original president and the Google guys.
The roadster was originally due out this month, but after a few snags, it will probably be early next year before those 600 Roadsters hit the road. Is it worth the wait? Since we haven't had the opportunity to drive the Roadster yet, we'll save those comments for Michael Balzary, better known as Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who said "It made my porsche feel like a golf cart!" Flea had a lot to say about the Tesla. "...While sitting in a hotel room on tour somewhere, I saw the film "Who Killed the Electric Car?" The second the film ended, in a fit of inspiration, much to my wife's chagrin, I went online and purchased a Tesla Roadster...Then last week, a nice fella from Tesla shows up...The car he has got with him looks cool as hell. BEAUTIFUL, but not pompous or show offy arrogant at all, just looks like a cool car...It took off like a rocket ship, handled so sensitively, it was just amazing and fun and thrilling. I am so happy I went with my gut and bought that car. Yeah it is a long wait, but man, the thing is awesome. The silence makes ya feel like you are floating, and it just rocks, it was the funnest car I have ever been in....To enjoy driving as much as is possible in that Tesla, and to pollute nothing, no emissions into the air, is a great, great feeling. "
So what's next for Tesla? Buzz is already building about their $50,000, five-passenger luxury sports sedan due in 2010. After that, Tesla hopes to produce a $30,000 sedan for the mass market. Let's hope we don't have to wait that long!
Green Rides Part 1
Some of the hottest cars on the market are green! The Tesla and the new Jaguar hybrid are some of the most exciting, sleek and sexy new green vehicles.
Green Rides Part 2
In Part 2 Michelle shows you the amazing plug in hybrid the GM Volt. The Toyota Prius is hotter than ever with new models that get even better mileage!
Green Home Make-Over Part 1
Going green? In this three part series, Michelle will show you how turn any home into a green home using the latest eco friendly materials and furnishings. In Part 1, Michelle shows you why bamboo is becoming a stylish and sustainable alternative for flooring and furnishings. This segment also shows works of art made from recycled materials by Purvis Young and also the work of Michele Leah, the Raw Artist. Actor Ed Begley, Jr. even shows you how to generate your own energy.
Green Home Make-Over Part 2
Wow! Are you ready? In Part 2 of our Green Home Make-Over, Michelle shows you everything from dishware made from recycled sea glass, organic linens and bedding, zen-style clocks, stylish lighting and home accessories made from recycled materials, even counter tops made from recycled glass and space age touchless faucets that help you conserve water! Whew!
Green Home Make-Over Part 3
Chill out! In Part 3 of our Green Home Make-Over we show you how to simplify and get organized to create a sense of well being. Michelle will help you make your home eco-friendly and clutter free!
Green Home Make-Over Part 4
Keeping your house green is important, inside and out. In Part 4 we will see easy tips to keep your outdoor areas beautiful and healthy for you and the environment.
Hey pal, take a hike... to the rainforest! The rainforest is extremely important to the health of our planet. In this segment Michelle travels to Tobago and hikes through their rainforest. She also makes a stop at a plantation where Tobago's Minister of Agriculture shows off some organic crops including cocoa and bananas.
Eat your veggies and grow them! Love fresh vegetable? Now you can get fresh picked organic produce right in your own back yard.
Easy Tips For Greener Living
Plastic is Not Fantastic - Over 2 million plastic water bottles are thrown away EVERY HOUR! You can help stop this madness by simply buying a cool lightweight reusable water bottle. Plastic can also leach toxins into the water so always look for a non-leaching bottle. We've been using bottles from New Wave Enviro. They look like plastic but are actually made of a corn resin. Other popular non-toxic and non-leaching bottles include the stainless steel Klean Kanteen and the aluminum bottles from Sigg. Formerly known best by hikers, Sigg bottles now come in hipster designs like Star Power, Sun Ray and Heavy Metal.
Lighten Up - An absolute must is to change those light bulbs! Compact fluorescent bulbs last 10 times longer then traditional light bulbs and use 65% to 75% percent less electricity than incandescent bulbs, saving energy and money. By simply switching the light bulbs in our 5 most frequently used lights with energy star rated light bulbs, we would save over 10 billion dollars a year in energy costs nationally and it would keep over 100 billion pounds of greenhouse gasses out of the air we breathe. This equals the emissions of eight million cars! These light bulbs are very easy to find at your local hardware store.
It's In the Bag - The US alone disposes over 100 billion plastic bags annually and less than 1% are recycled. Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded bags that they think are food. Plastic bags (which are made from petroleum-based oil derivatives) are NOT biodegradable. They break down into smaller plastic pieces and contaminate soil and water. Paper bags, although biodegradable, require the use of 14 million trees to produce the 10million paper bags we use every year. Both types of bags take a tremendous amount of energy and resources to create. It's so easy to get reusable bags and simply keep them in your car like I do. That way you have them when you need them.
Big Bamboo - Remodeling? By all means get rid of that unhealthy and unsightly old carpet but be careful what you choose to replace it with. Bamboo only takes a few years to reach maturity, where hardwoods can take decades. When bamboo is harvested, the roots continue to grow and produce a new stalk. Because bamboo is plentiful and re-grows quickly, it is a much more sustainable and doesn't deplete the forests the way hardwoods do. Check out www.ecotimber.com for some great choices!
Cool Carpet - Carpet manufacturers such as Mohawk (www.mohawkcarpet.com/) are making beautiful berber style carpeting made from recycled plastic soda bottles. We put this in a room in our home and people are shocked when they find out it's made from plastic bottles. It looks and feels like any nice carpeting and is becoming widely available.
Just say no to VOC's - VOC's (volatile organic compounds) come from particle board, paint, carpeting, furniture, cabinets, etc. VOC's, include formaldehyde, an EPA registered carcinogen found often in particle board and furniture. Studies have shown that VOC's can be 2 to 10 times higher inside our homes then outside. Always use low or no VOC paint, organic cleansers and look for furniture or cabinetry made from solid and sustainable materials instead of MDF or particle board. Furniture manufactures are becoming hip to using sustainable materials. One of my favorites is Environment Furniture http://www.environment-furniture.com/ who uses reclaimed wood. Besides being eco-friendly it's funky and has a great look.There are also mainstream stores such as Crate&Barrel who are using sustainable materials like bamboo to make furnishings!
Eat Green - Aside from the impact on our health, what we eat has a huge impact on the environment. Think the biggest cause of greenhouse gases is automobiles? Nope, it's actually the meat industry or what they call factory-farming. It takes @ 2400 hundred gallons of water and @ 100 pounds of edible grains to produce just one measly pound of beef, not including the oil, gas and electrical energy wasted. You could go two years without taking a shower (not recommended) and still not save as much water as skipping just one pound of beef. Consider a veggie burger instead of that greaseball and you will help save the environment and your waistline!