Meet the ELF: A Pedal-Powered, Solar-Electric Hybrid
Described as the “most efficient vehicle on the planet”, The ELF is a solar and pedal-powered hybrid tricycle hand-built in the United States by Organic Transit. It is available in one, two and three seater models, and according to their website it gets the equivalent of 1800 miles per gallon! It is legally considered a bicycle, so it can be used on bike paths, parks and sidewalks and requires no gas, license, registration or insurance.
The solar-charged electric motor does not power the vehicle, but rather “assists” your pedalling with a boost of power whenever you need it. The ELF can travel at speeds over 25 mph, and the motor is geared low enough to handle climbing hills with ease. The battery has a range of 16 miles with no pedalling, and 30 miles with pedalling. It takes about 2-3 hours to charge using a normal standard wall outlet. Obviously solar charging times depend on the availability of sunlight. In direct sunlight it can be completely recharged in about 8 hours.
The standard ELF can handle a payload of 350 lbs, including rider. The trike itself weighs between 160-180 lbs depending on accessories. The trikes start at $5495 and a variety of models and accessories are also available. You can even build your own! Obviously at that price, they aren’t for everyone, but for some this could be a very smart transportation solution for those looking to reduce transportation costs in an Eco-friendly way.
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