Do you want to travel to and from work in a 100-mpg vehicle? Europeans have been doing it for years. Nope, we're not talking about a public rail system or a fancy new hybrid car. We're talking about scooters. Philip McCaleb, 54, spent a few years in Athens and Brussels and loved getting around on his Vespa scooter. After returning home to Chicago in 1989, he noticed a lack of fanaticism for the nimble, and sometimes loud and colorful, scooters the same way the rest of the world did. McCaleb quickly organized a scooter club and mailing list, which morphed into a scooter catalog business: Scooterworks USA. He also began restoring vintage scooters and became an importer of Piaggio Vespa ( PIAGF). The cult for scooters grew, and McCaleb launched Genuine Scooter Co. in 2001. Note that, unlike some car-company peers, he doesn't need to ask the U.S. government for a bailout check. "With a faltering economy and gas prices fluctuating in a downward trend, we're still very confident in our '09 outlook," says McCaleb. Genuine Scooter's sales have grown 46% a year between 2002, when its first scooter, Stella, went on the market, and 2007. Genuine Scooter, whose Web site says it's "America's Smallest Scooter Company," has since unveiled three other models: Buddy, Roughhouse and Rattler. McCaleb says Genuine Scooter is now shipping over 10,000 bikes a year and expects growth of about 135% this year. "Scooters have found an accepted niche as practical alternative transportation," says McCaleb. "They're economical, they're gaining in acceptance by other four-wheel operators, and they've proven to save the average American tremendous amounts of money on gas, insurance and space. Americans are finally getting to understand why they're so popular in Europe."