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Aptera electric car ready for drivers?

Maker of three-wheeled electric vehicle that gets 300 mpg says car will be available for under $30,000 in 2008.

Once again, Aptera, the producer of a three-wheeled electric vehicle, is making big claims.

The Aptera Typ-1, a vehicle that can get 300 miles per gallon, will be available in early 2008 for less than $30,000 in both an electric plugin, and gas electric plugin hybrid version, the company announced Monday.

The vehicle will be able to charge from any stand 110-volt outlet, according to company specs.

The Typ-1 will have a range of 120 miles on electricity alone, with a 600 mile range for the hybrid version when fully fueled. The vehicle seats two in the front, with one seat in the back big enough to fit an infant car seat, according to company specs. With that seat removed and used as a cargo area, it can fit up to 15 bags of groceries or two full-size golf club bags.

The previous prototype of the Aptera had been able to get 230 mpg, according to the company.

The car is street legal, according to Aptera. Like many of the electric vehicles you can buy right now, the vehicle is registered with the Department of Transportation as a motorcycle.

Instead of typical side mirrors, the car has displays fed by embedded cameras that show a 180-degree view of the rear and side area of the car. Its safety features include a front-end crumple zone to protect passengers and air bags.

While it all sounds well and good, we still have yet to see an actual video of the car in action that's not a computer generated promo.

"We have posted some renderings (from CAD data from which the car made (sic)) because it's easier to control the lighting and effects than with real photos," Aptera CEO Steve Fambro said in an e-mail.

"Video of the real Typ-1 is here: http://www.aptera.com/media.php," he said.