Leave it to the makers of the first "solar shuttle" to actually hit its production schedule, as Venturi Automobiles is officially readying its Eclectic vehicle for a June 2007 launch. The "world's first" commercially available autonomous vehicle sports a "stylish, urban design," room for three, and never needs to get friendly with an AC outlet (although it can, if necessary) or fuel pump. This puppy is powered and recharged completely by renewable energy, be it sunlight or wind, as it houses a bevy of NiMH (NIV-7) liquid-cooled batteries that can be juiced up from the 2.5 square meters of photovoltaic cells atop its roof or a set of wind turbines that can be fixed to the vehicle while parked. Right on target, the company plans to launch a "limited run" of 200 in June, which will be white in color and demand around €24,000 ($31,421). As the learning curve kicks in and production costs sink, the vehicle price should ring up closer to €15,000 ($19,638) when it goes full scale in 2009, while a "single-seat utilitarian version" will compliment the flagship unit sometime in the future. So if you're thinking about ditching the whole "fill your car up" thing, you may still have time to get in on the pre-orders now being accepted for the first 20, but if history proves anything, it's doubtful. [Warning: PDF link]

[Via AutoblogGreen]

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