Google Funds Electric Car

Fuel prices nowadays seems to speed up faster than the cars themselves. So, after owning much of the internet (do they?), it may be a great idea for Google (.org) to partially fund start-up electric car company, Aptera Motors.

The company aims to spend the funds on its manufacturing center.

Aptera has set the end of this year for the release of its all-electric Typ-1, a two-seater, three-wheeled electric car whose design looks like it came from a Jetsons cartoon strip. The street-legal vehicle would cost less than $30,000.

The electric version of the three-wheeler would drive 120 miles per charge, while a hybrid version due for release by the end of 2009 is meant to achieve 300 miles per gallon.

"The Aptera Typ-1 is designed to be the lowest-energy way to transport two passengers safely from point A to point B," Bill Gross, chairman and CEO of start-up incubator Idealab, that supports Aptera, said in a statement.

Google's philanthropic arm on Wednesday announced that it will split $2.75 million toward its RechargeIt initiative between Aptera and battery start-up ActaCell. Other investors in Aptera are Esenjay Investments, the Simons Family, and the Beall Family Trust.

Aptera Motors said it has already received 3,300 deposits of a minimum $500 each as pre-order reservations from potential customers.

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