At TreeHugger, we like to keep things realistic, raise a skeptical eyebrow to potential vaporware, and to keep in check our giddy inner children that get sweaty palms when we see something like the VentureOne. After all, a bright idea, some capital, and computer drafting software aren't too hard to come by. We truly would like to believe, though, that the VentureOne will in fact, as its creators promise, be released in late 2008, priced in the $20,000 range. If that is indeed remotely possible, then the VentureOne is big news. This remarkable looking car, if you want to call it that (it's a motorcycle as far as the law is concerned), brings together a handful of innovative and proven technologies to make for a very green means of short or long distance transport. First, let's talk about the drive train (and I'll speak as if all this is really going to happen, fingers crossed).The VentureOne will come in three configurations: a 50 kW plug-in hybrid (350-mile range), a 100 kW plug-in hybrid (300-mile range), and a 40 kW all electric model (120-mile range). Both hybrid models will be ethanol compatible with a 20-mile pure EV range, and can be charged from a conventional 110-volt outlet. The fastest of the bunch, the 100 kW hybrid, will top out at 120 mph and do 0-60 in less than 5 seconds. All three will get the equivalent of over 100 miles per gallon.
But then there's the tippy thing. To picture this, check out the video of the Carver on the VentureOne's site. This is a patented technology licensed from a Dutch firm called Carver Engineering. The underlying concept is that as the vehicle corners, the front half (including the cockpit) tilts to counterbalance centrifugal force, much the way a motorcycle does, while the rear two wheels stay put. The Carver, a vehicle made by Carver Engineering itself, represents the 11th generation of this technology, and they claim that it's pretty well perfected by this point. For more on this type of technology, see our post on the suspiciously similar CLEVER.
There is quite a bit more that could be said about the VentureOne, like the specifics of its li-ion batteries, its many safety features, and its iPod compatibility, but since the green two-seater doesn't actually exist yet, we'll stop here and leave you with the words of Ian Bruce, a founding partner of Venture Vehicles and founder of EVP Design and Engineering: "With the same height and length as the MINI Cooper, the VentureOne will have both the performance of a sports car and the agility of a motorcycle... creating an incredibly exhilarating driving experience. The only way I can describe the sensation is comparing it to flying a jet fighter at two feet off the ground. Plus, this extraordinary performance combines the significant environmental benefits of a flex-fuel, plug-in Hybrid with a high level of affordability." Here's to hoping ::FlyTheRoad