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(Update: The company’s supporters have orchestrated a campaign to criticize this article; see comments below)

Venture Vehicles, a Los Angeles company developing a three-wheeler car that you can plug into a electrical outlet, with a glass canopy roof that can reportedly out-accelerate a Porsche Boxster — and get 100 miles to the gallon — has just raised $6 million in a first round of funding.

ventureone-8-19-07.jpg NGEN Partners made the investment.

We’ve mentioned the company before. It is just one of several companies pushing new kinds of electric vehicles. Pasadena, Calif.’s Aptera Motors Inc., backed by Idealab, is also making a three-wheeler (see our coverage of that quiet project).

VentureWire (subscription required) carries more funding details today.

The challenge for this car, though, is that it costs $20,000, which is pricey for a three-wheeler that some would place in the glorified motor-scooter category. Indeed, the advantage of a three-wheeler, at least for manufacturers, is they don’t have to meet the same safety standards as four-wheelers, even if Venture Vehicles’ VentureOne will have things like a steel roll cage, collapsible steering columns, side impact rails, driver’s air bag and a rear bumper. The classification should lower the cost somewhat, but at $20,000, its still in the region where it competes with more standard hybrid-electric cars that will have more mass appeal. This is a long shot, in our view.


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