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Congress debates the merits of fuel-efficient three-wheel vehicles
According to Autoweek, legislation supported by companies looking to develop fuel-efficient three-wheel vehicles -- including Aptera Motors, Elio Motors and others -- passed a conference of House and Senate leaders on Wednesday, paving the way to receive funds from a federal energy-spending bill. Final congressional approval should come next week, but the bill marks a shift in attitude towards transportation in the U.S.
“Obsolete bureaucratic definitions should not create roadblocks and stifle innovation,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a co-sponsor of the legislation.
Currently, funding is limited to four-wheel vehicles that meet certain emissions and fuel-efficiency standards; however, the new bill could create room for vehicles -- even those with fewer than four wheels -- that seat two adult passengers and get at least 75 mpg.
The news is good tidings for Aptera, which is looking to borrow $75 million from the Energy Department to produce its 2e plug-in electric vehicle in the middle of next year. Elio, on the other hand, wants to start marketing a gasoline-powered three-wheeler by the spring of 2011.
(Photo credit: AutoWeek)
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