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Bankrate's 2007 New Car Guide
Going green
Environmental concerns are bringing major changes -- right down to the cars we drive.
Going green
Green-fuel cars almost here -- at a price
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BMW Hydrogen 7: BMW has developed a hydrogen cell version of its luxury 760li model. The dual-fuel sedan gets 125 miles on a tank of liquid hydrogen, and another 300 miles on an auxiliary tank of gasoline. And the performance is "very similar to a BMW 7 Series," says Andreas Klugescheid, corporate communications manager for BMW of North America, who adds it can reach speeds of up to 143 mph.

BMW Hydrogen 7
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Tthe company has distributed a few of the cars to high-profile people in the U.S., such as Jay Leno, Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Will Ferrell, as well as in Europe, to generate a buzz around the idea of hydrogen fuel cars, says Klugescheid. But don't expect to see them in the dealer showroom anytime soon. The company is still working out the details that would allow them to mass-produce the cars at a more affordable price, says Klugescheid. And there is only one compatible fuel station in the U.S. -- in Oxnard, Calif.

Venturi Fetish: Got a few hundred thousand burning a hole in your pocket? Forget the golf-carts. This Monaco-based company makes 25 of these road-worthy, high-performance electric sports cars this year. The Fetish rockets from zero to 60 miles an hour in less than five seconds. Besides the long waitlist and the cost of shipping it from Monaco to the States (the company does not ship the cars) the main problem is that the vehicle hasn't yet met the guidelines to be certified for U.S. roads. The range: about 100 to 200 miles on a charge, Moore says. Cost? Estimates run as high as $400,000.

Venturi Eclectic: This electric/solar/wind powered two-seater comes in any color you want, as long as it's white. The distinctive open-air design resembles a cross between a go-cart and an antique car. According to its Web site, Venturi is planning on debuting the final version of the car in October at the Paris Motor Show and will start selling the vehicle in 2009. . The anticipated price is about $32,000, according to Auto Week.  It runs on battery power, with solar panels on the roof. A turbine package allows drivers to harness wind energy, too. The Eclectic has a top speed of 31 mph and a range of about 31 miles on a charge, according the car's specs. It takes about five hours to charge.

Tesla Roadster: Do your green sensibilities mask a need for speed? This two-seater goes from 0 to 60 mph in just about 4 seconds and can reach speeds up to 130 mph. It gets about 200-plus miles to the charge, says Joe Powers, a sales associate with Tesla Motors. While the company has sold out of its roadsters for the 2008 model year, they are taking reservations for the 2009 model. The $109,000 base price includes installation of a home-charging system in the garage. And it goes from "empty" to fully charged in about 3½ hours, he says.

-- Updated: July 12, 2008
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