This morning on NPR they were talking about how various places in Ohio (they talked specifically about Cleveland) are coping with large scale job loss. Most of the efforts seem to be connected to transportation, and seem to be pretty cool. There are lots of places working on hydrogen fuel cells, and Toyota is noticing big time.
But the coolest is The Sparrow. From the website:
Powered by thirteen 12 volt batteries, the Sparrow provides an effective range of 25 to 40 miles and a top speed of 75 mph.
The Sparrow is a single seat, electric commuter vehicle with a MSRP of $17,900. Its highly efficient design enables it to provide extremely cost effective transportation for as little as a penny per mile.
The car plugs into an ordinary 110-volt electrical outlet and fully recharges in 6 hours (3 hours with a 220-volt charger).
The Sparrow features an AM/FM/CD stereo, electrically operated windows, full instrumentation including voltage meter, amps meter, MPH., etc. The transmission is fully automatic, with two simple settings for forward and reverse.
The car registers as a motorcycle, insures as a motorcycle, and is completely street legal. Because it has an enclosed passenger compartment, anyone driving the Corbin doesn’t need a motorcycle helmet.
I’ve always been a fan of alternative transportation, and look forward to the day when gasoline engines are specialty items used in specific circumstances. I think it’ll be a while, but I think it’ll come.