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Thursday, April 27, 2006

60mph green machine may be the answer to city traffic jams


This three-wheeled vehicle, part-motorbike and part-car, is being hailed as the future of city driving. Called the Clever, it is half the width of a conventional car, can carry a passenger and, as it runs on gas, would be exempt from the congestion charge in London.

It does more than 100 miles (160km) per gallon, three times that of most cars, and emits a third less carbon dioxide. The EU-funded project involved a team from the University of Bath, where it was showcased yesterday. The Clever has a top speed of 60mph and will cost from £5,000 to £10,000 if it makes it into production.

Geraint Owen, a mechanical engineer from Bath university, said that the Clever had been successfully crash-tested. He added: “The next step is to get EU funding to create a batch of 100 of the vehicles for trial in European cities.” Jos Darling, a team member, said smaller vehicles were a solution to the “relentless increase in traffic”.

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