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Electric automaker, batterymaker score Google funding

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(Read caption) The battery-powered, three-wheeled, two-seater Aptera Type-1 is capable of speeds up to 80 mph and can travel almost 100 miles on a single charge.

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Google's philanthropy arm, Google.org, announced that it is investing $2.75 million in electric vehiclemaker Aptera and batterymaker ActaCell.

Aptera Motors of Carlsbad, Calif., makes three-wheeled two-seat vehicles out of composite materials with an ultra-aerodynamic design. The company is developing an all-electric version that it says will travel 100 miles on a single charge, as well as a plug-in hybrid version that they claim will get the equivalent of 300 miles per gallon. (Google says that a prototype achieved 230 m.p.g.)

Aptera says that its all-electric version will go into production late this year, and will cost less than $30,000. California residents can reserve one for a $500 deposit here. The hybrid version will be available in early 2010, the company says.

According to C|NET, the vehicles can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour within 10 seconds. Aptera says that the top speed of production models will exceed 85 m.p.h.

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