You Tell Us 2009
Not everything is a clear-cut winner or loser. Sometimes it's hard to tell whether we'll someday look back and say, "How did we ever live without that?" or "I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time." Here's your chance to weigh in now
Illustration: Venture Vehicles
The VentureOne hybrid leans into turns and sips fuel but seats only two.
Although fuel prices have fallen far from last summer’s peak, the pain at the pump will not soon be forgotten. That’s particularly true in the United States, still the world’s biggest automobile market, where people have long enjoyed cheap energy and could therefore barely believe they were paying US $4 for a gallon of gasoline ($1.05 per liter).
Clearly, U.S. car buyers have abandoned hulking SUVs for smaller, fuel-sipping hybrid electric vehicles, sticking auto dealers with unsold gas guzzlers and lengthening the waiting lists for hybrids. But it’s hard to say whether the swing in demand is wide enough to create a market for the new car from Venture Vehicles. The Contoocook, N.H.–based start-up will introduce the three-wheel VentureOne plug-in hybrid in 2010.
It remains to be seen how the public will view this vehicle and the five other items we are inviting you to vote on. They include a biometric database that uses pattern-matching technology to identify people by their tattoos, a handheld device that unrolls into an e-book reader, and a giant microwave oven that its makers say can cook a tire until it turns into diesel fuel.
To have your say, go to