In honor of Earth Day, let’s take a look at a very different electric hybrid that might one day solve our high oil price problems.

The Aptera is a weird, bug-looking car that costs $30,000 and can go 300 miles on a gallon of gas. It’s currently in pre-production, but preorders are available to California residents only (an attempt to minimize distribution and repairs issues).

Later this year a fully-electric-no-gas-needed version will be released, but will take 8 hours to re-charge. You’ll be paying somewhere between $50 to $100 this summer each time you refill your gas guzzlers. Imagine how much extra money could be in your pocket if you drove around this golf ball-with-wheels. (more photos after the jump)

Worried about safety? The Aptera, because of its 3-wheel design, is technically registered as a motorcycle. Then just ask Ben Roethlisberger about motorcycle safety and you’ll see why Aptera started out with a strike against them. However, this thing is made out of superlight and superstrong composite plastic that exceeds requirements for rollover strength and door strength. This thing is built like a big, white, gun-less, hybrid tank.

I will admit, with all those features it sounds great, but why is it so strange looking? Some surveys have shown that hybrid owners are so proud of their planet-saving vehicles, that they want others to know how eco-friendly they are. Either or both the pretentiousness of its buyers and the fuel-efficiency of its aerodynamic shape could be the reasons behind the design.

Is this thing going to be awesome, or is it way too space-age and weird for anyone to be caught dead in it? Let us know in the comments section.

Newsweek: 10 Fixes for the Planet, April 14, 2008

Wired: Aptera Future Car Set For Production, October 1, 2007

Aptera: Official Site