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The way Microsoft, Carnegie, and Standard Oil got monopolies over competitors in their respective industries was by offering the lowest prices. If history repeats itself, whoever gets to the market with the lowest cost, all round replacement for the family car, will dominant the EV business. They will build up their market share and their volume efficiencies will starve off the competition.

An automotive company with deep pockets or well heeled investors can subsidize and buy this market. GM cannot win with technology alone. An premium priced $40,000 Volt cannot be the winner that dominates the market. With its quarterly losses, by 2011 GM will have spent down its warchest. It must find investors with a vision. I fear the coming battle will be one of finance, and not technology. The global market is incredibly skilled at reverse engineering technology.
 

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True, but only the wealth of an entire nation could buy an auto market containing entrants from almost a dozen countries. The first step is having a product. Right now, Toyota has the Prius, and Honda has the Civic. In two years, GM will offer the Volt, and Tesla, Fisker and Aptera will all have their plug-ins.

I really fear for all those companies that haven't even been developing a series hybrid product. Ford and others who admit that they are 2 years behind are going to be at a serious disadvantage to all these aforementioned automakers.
 

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The Aptera is right on track for release. If there are delays, it could be just a couple of months, not a couple of years. So far, there are no great technological bugs. The only problems are related to increasing efficiency of manufacturing.

The news from GM though is that they will start production after the Volt hits the showroom in 2010. The earliest year after 2010 is 2011, so it could be 2025. GM better hurry up with the Volt, which I am confident they can deliver on time.

And to increase the pressure on GM, as for the Aptera, it is nearing release for early adopters! Just about 6 months!!!

News on CNN Video
http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/tech/2008/06/05/washburn.230.mpg.car.kfmb

You tube Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1vQGPYBBn4

Script:
It's being billed as an ultra-green car - 300 miles to the gallon as a hybrid, and there's an electric version too. The Aptera uses as little energy as possible.

With a little bit of free time, and the mind of an engineer, Steve Fambro and co-founder Chris Anthony set out to make a vehicle that can travel safely at highway speeds and is the most efficient on the road.

The Aptera Type 1, Greek for "wingless flight", aims for that sensation while driving. Classified as a motorcycle, the three-wheel aerodynamic vehicle boasts the ability to drive cross country on a single tank of gas.

"Once you realize and accept the fact that at highway speeds most of the energy goes just to push the air out of the way, why would you make a car that's square and boxy and like a piece of furniture?" Fambro said.

To go with their aero dynamic, efficient design, they replaced the side view and rear view mirrors with cameras in the back, so without even having to turn you're head you can see what's behind you from just about every angle.

But unless you've got a dolphin-shaped helicopter couch, you might be thrown by the design, and in turn concerned about safety.

"We think that traditional automobile safety standards are appalling, you know there no guarantees of safety, and our vehicle has been designed well beyond those safety standards," Anthony said.

Even more appalling, these guys say they're excited about gas prices.

"Yes, I have to admit I am, I know it's a hardship on people, and that's unfortunate, but that's the kind of thing that makes us wake up and demand more from our current auto manufacturers, demand more from our government and it spurs other people like ourselves to create products for the marketplace," Anthony said.

The electric version of the Aptera will be available to Californians at the end of this year, retailing at less than $30,000.
 

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Just my opinion, I think most of the average American male would never want to be seen in the Aptera. For the American male version, I would want something like this one:



By joereal at 2008-06-05

Acabion. Does 340MPH! For Real! But they'll have to scale it back to 2-seater model, 600-700 lb composite body, 600 mile range, averaging 150 mpg and 120 mpc. With automatic outrigger to ease the turns. It will be a serious contender in the upcoming Automobile X-prize.
 
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