Eclectic car powered by nature

Venturi's Eclectic car runs on electricity, wind and solar polar.

Venturi, a French company that bills itself as "The Carbon Neutral Company," has a new electric vehicle that can also be powered by nature.

Whenever I see cars like this, my first thought is always...OK, how fast does it go? Politics aside, no one wants to be the guy in the Trabant.

The Eclectic
The Eclectic Venturi

The answer for the Venturi Eclectic is not that fast, but not that bad for what it is. It tops out at 31 mph.

As with the Tamarack Lake Engine Company's solar-electric pontoon boat , recreational vehicles like these seem to be more about making the owner feel guilt-free and less about speed.

As the vehicle's name suggests, the NiMH (NIV-7) batteries (liquid cooled) can be recharged by an eclectic array of sources: solar, wind and electricity. One full recharge via electricity takes five hours, so make sure there's a free outlet in the garage.

Photovoltaic cells on the Eclectic's roof take in the solar power, while a wind turbine attached to the vehicle captures wind power. The wind turbine can contribute up to 9 miles of driving distance per day--if it's windy, according to Venturi. The solar panels can contribute up to 4.4 miles.

About the author

In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet,, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.


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