Salinas Home to Futuristic Eco-Cars

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    NEWSLETTERS

    inhabitat.com

    It may look a little funny, but Salinas company Green Vehicles hopes that their Triac is the wave of the future.

    It's a three-wheeled commuter vehicle that may some day replace your old four-wheeled gas-guzzler. The Triac can travel 100 miles on a charge, costs $25,000, and is made here in California. They're not quite right for family trips, as they can only fit a driver and a passenger.

    That local manufacturing helps augment its green credentials. Earlier prototypes were made in China, but shipping them across the ocean generated a heaping helping of poisonous pollution. Of course, the manufacturing process is still far from pollution-free, but the transportation now is at least cleaner now than most other car companies.

    That price tag is expected to drop over the next few years, with commitments from major auto manufacturers to pursue electric vehicles.

    And the government may help make it worth your while, with a federal tax credit of $7,500 and a state rebate of $5,000.

    Two thousand of the vehicles will be produced every year, right in the heart of Salinas, starting in about a year.