Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Mar 12

Meet the ELF: A Pedal-Powered, Solar-Electric Hybrid

Posted in Pedal Power | Solar Power | Transportation

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.

ELF Organic Transit
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.

Watch the video:

What do you think? Leave your comments below…

  • Their Grandma

    It’s 16 miles to my favorite supermarket. I weigh 160 pounds. I WANT ONE!!

  • leel6391

    This should turn in to an engine powered vehicle to make it more demanding.

    • Donna

      It HAS an electric motor!

  • Oemissions

    anyone who gets this for everyday transit instead of using a regular car should get a tax break

  • Sašo Luznar

    Too expensive, I will stick with my 100$ bicycle 🙂

  • t4


  • Roopie

    I think that price moves it into its own class. It can’t compete with anything that accomplishes the same goals (eg, Vespa, power assisted bike). They’ll need to work on that.

    • Donna

      Sure it does. You don’t have shelter with those.

  • Aharon Varady

    Contrary to the article, bicycles are usually not legal on sidewalks, just sayin’.

    • Gregory Mead

      That depends on where you live. Long ago, in Philadelphia, you couldn’t ride on sidewalks (which I actually agree with, btw), but in other places that I’ve lived (rural and suburban areas, New Orleans, San Diego, Jacksonville, FL), it’s completely legal.

  • Beate7

    Looks great! Small spelling error: The trike itself [ways] between 160-180 lbs = [weighs].

    • AENews

      Oops… corrected. Thank you sir!


    I LOVE mine!

  • Amy

    Being 5’2″, I hope it would be adjust enough for less than average heights. But I do want one.

  • Sugano Svetlana

    Mr. Cotter ….This is a great contribution to society.

  • James M. Holtzman

    awesome is all I have to say…

  • Glen McMillian

    Mass production of this sort of enclosed or semi enclosed electric trikes – legally the same as bikes – will greatly lower the costs. In another ten years or so , maybe sooner, we will be able to buy something similar for less than half the money in constant dollars.

    The trouble right now with electric bikes in this country is that they still cost a hell of a lot for what you get in comparison to a car. Three of these things cost as much as a brand new cheap car – with fifteen times as much material in it and hundred times as many complicated parts needing to be manufactured, assembled and delivered.

    Once it ( or a competitor) is mass produced and sold in large numbers the price of this rig should fall down to around a thousand bucks. When that happens you will be able to buy a new generic battery at the auto parts store and new tires at the same place you buy car tires etc etc.

    But even at five grand or more it is a good deal for people with plenty of money who live in places where they can use it often to run errands or commute. Insurance alone on a car can run as much as three thousand bucks a year. So the owner of one of these could save the cost of it back in insurance premiums alone in a hurry.

    People without a drivers license or unable to afford a conventional car could make good use of a similar machine.Most people are going to avoid riding a conventional bike even an electric to work on a regular basis no matter what for fear of getting their clothes sweaty and dirty- splashed by passing cars or getting uncomfortably chilled on cold days etc.

    Keeping the rain and wind and slush thrown up by passing cars is going to be a HUGE selling point.

  • Leif Dallas

    Maybe the cop should get him a bike hmmmmmm

  • ClayOwl

    I need a stronger frame to pull a mini trailer home 1,000 pounds? How much it will cost me? Color bubble gum pink it that possible to?? Picture down blown is and example…

Energy-Recycling Artificial Foot

Energy-Recycling Artificial Foot

It should come as no great surprise that walking with a prosthetic limb is difficult. According to a newly published paper on prosthesis, walking with a prosthetic foot requires

Forget Solar Power, Human Power is the Future

Forget Solar Power, Human Power is the Future

That may be a little aggressive, but Princeton University engineers have developed a device that may change the way that we power many of our smaller gadgets and devices.

The Pedal-A-Watt Stationary Bicycle Generator

The Pedal-A-Watt Stationary Bicycle Generator

Today’s twin goals of keeping fit while doing something good for the planet by creating electricity without any pollution come together in a product that has been around for

Pedal Powered Laptops in Afghanistan

Pedal Powered Laptops in Afghanistan

While there are solar powered laptops that will allow a computer to be powered without an energy source, not everyone may be able to afford them. There was

Human Powered Workout Gym Concept

Human Powered Workout Gym Concept

When we look closely at human history we can easily conclude that locomotion is one of the most primordial needs. But our current lifestyle does not allow us with

150MPG Human Powered Goblin Aero

150MPG Human Powered Goblin Aero

Goblin Motors’ new line of human powered vehicles are coming online February 2009. These vehicles, known as velomobiles, allow a single occupant to travel faster than a bicycle using

Pedal Power Dynapod

Pedal Power Dynapod

A dynapod is a stationary pedal-powered device. The word ‘Dynapod’ comes from the Greek words for power and foot. The dynapod can be attached to any kind of device or

The Bicycle: An Environmental Hero

The Bicycle: An Environmental Hero

Bicycle sales have been booming in North America in recent years, with some sources saying high gas prices may be responsible for the trend. Bike shops are reporting high