Venturi plans to market the Eclectic towards consumers who want to actively reduce their carbon footprint. Those looking to leave other drivers in a cloud of exhaust and tire smoke at traffic lights need not apply. Instead, Venturi sees the drivers of its car and others like it plugging into the power grid when it's not in use and actually contributing to the energy supply. Venturi and other green car manufacturers believe that if enough electrically-driven cars use the grid to power up, we could solve many of our electrical supply problems without having to build a plethora of new power plants [source: Boschert].
For consumers looking for options on the Eclectic, Venturi offers a 400-watt wind turbine, with a mast to collect wind energy while you're away from the car. It also includes the following on its options list: A WiFi kit for Internet access, cloth-covered wooden seats, fabric doors, a trunk with a lock, 220-volt and 12-volt power receptacles and custom printing for the fabric doors.
We've learned a lot about this car's bells and whistles, but how does it move? The Eclectic has two forward and two reverse "gears" that are driven by its electric motor. That motor then gets electricity from a pack of Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries that can be recharged from a standard European electrical outlet. No fancy or hard-to-find charging station is required.
Alternatively, drivers can park in a sunny location and allow the batteries to recharge with solar energy that's converted to electricity by Eclectic's roof panels. Finally, as we mentioned earlier, drivers can set up a small, portable wind turbine to collect wind energy. The Eclectic's wind turbine includes a fan blade assembly, along with the housing and electrical generator to convert the kinetic energy of wind into electrical energy.
Go to the next page for information on the Venturi Eclectic's pricing, availability and its prospects in the marketplace.