The Next Transportation Revolution is Here

Over the past several years, high-end hybrids and futuristic electric cars have slowly become more prominent on American roads as consumers realize the impact of fossil fuel consumption on the environment. But, until now, one obstacle has prevented many potential consumers from fully embracing fuel-efficient technology: the price.

Recently, a handful of automakers and innovators have decided to put affordability on the same level as sustainability, bringing fossil fuel conserving transportation solutions to consumers at affordable prices.

Here’s a look at how sustainable transportation technology is helping make saving energy—and saving money—a realistic option for a generation of commuters:

###Tesla’s ‘Open Source’ Technology

Tesla, a maker of high-end electric vehicles, recently announced an unprecedented move: It released all of its patents to fellow technology lovers and carmakers “in the spirit of the open source movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle technology.” In the statement, the company’s CEO said the success of the electric car is more important than a single brand.

###Evelo’s E-Bike

Compared to most bikes, Evelos aren’t cheap (they start at about $2,000), but for urban commuters looking for an alternative to gas-guzzling cars or taxis, the savings can add up. The bikes—which offer decent speed—can go nearly 40 miles on a single charge. For context, one charge costs less than 8 cents. Back in 2012, a group of Evelo riders rode from New York to San Francisco on just $20 worth of electricity.

###Elio’s 84-MPG Microcar

Sure, it looks like a sidecar on an Adam West-era

Batman Robin Adam West Batcycle

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Batman Robin Adam West Batcycle

Batcycle, but the three-wheeled Elio combines two key features that will help consumers look past its unique design: fuel-efficiency and affordability. The American-made microcar can go more than 80 miles on the highway or 49 miles in the city on a single gallon of gas. Plus, it’s a good deal, starting at just $6,800.

###Google’s Self-Driving Car

As terrifying as it is to think of sitting in a car as it drives itself onto the interstate, Google’s recent demo video of the technology actually makes the process look pretty relaxing. But beyond eliminating the burden of actually having to operate the car itself, the tech company hopes that soon, accidents, congestion and fuel-burning traffic jams will be things of the past.

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