Meet ELF, The Three Wheeled Solar Bicycle

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A new means of transport needs a new name. ELF is a “ velomobile” , a combination of bicycle and automobile powered with solar energy and good old pedaling force is raising funds via KickStarter. At the time of writing the project had raised US$26,397 out of the targeted US$100,000. The deadline is January 13.

Organic Transit pitches it as an urban, high visibility vehicle that fits in standard bike lanes. The lithium battery pack can be recharged using the rooftop solar panels or by plugging in to a standard outlet. The tadpole configuration of the three wheels is designed to offer stability and control.

To add an extra layer of social responsibility to the project, the developers say they employ local manufacturers to produce their original designs to specifications.

They are collaborating with industry experts to streamline the assembly process and their goal is to create a small scale production facility capable of producing 1,000 units a month they say can be easily replicated in cities across the globe.

The specs below give a better idea of what ELF can do. Hopefully we’ll be seeing ELFs across the country, carrying people around without producing any emissions, thanks to solar power (and leg power).

Power Source

• Solar and pedal — two unlimited resources derived from the sun and you.

• 60 watt solar panel (standard, upgrades available)

• 750 watt permanent neodymium magnet motors

• 88.8 volt lithium battery

• CVT drivetrain (continuously variable transmission)

Body

• Vacuum formed Trylon (composite of 85% recycled ABS and Solarcote)

• Windshield made from UV resistant polycarbonate

• LED lighting including headlights, brake lights, markers, and turn signals

Frame

• 45% recycled aluminum

• 26″ high volume wheels front and rear with 20mm through axles and 36 spokes

• Disc brakes

• Coroplast wheel covers

• Storage compartment with room for eight bags of groceries/350lbs cargo

Performance

• 1800 MPGe (gets 1800 miles for the energy equivalent of 1 gallon of gas)

• 30 mile range with each 8 pound battery pack

• Potential to mitigate 28,000 lbs of CO2 per year per unit

• Classified as a bicycle in all 50 states

Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.

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About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

2 Comments

  1. NICE STORY GUYS! The only problem IS, you left two very inportant things out. One person or two, and even MORE important, WHAT is the target price. A word of explanaination a on the name given.

    I am a member of a steadily growing international group of people that are VERY concerned about is being done to the mother in the name of greed. As a group, we have all embraced the concept of each causing as small an impact on the planet as is realisticly possible. (This is being from the Bedroom of the total solar, over fifty percent rescued building material house that was constructed by my sweetie pie and I) . All of us feel so strongly about the message behind the movie AVATAR, that we have taken Na’vi names, and most of us speak Na’vi, and are learning to speak it fluently. (My name means Niri, possession of the sky, I am a 62 year old pilot who has been flying since I was 14).

    Please release the data on the two important points that you left out. Eywa ngahu, Niri Tawa

  2. is it too wide for a bike and not that flexible compared to regular bikes? What is the advantage of ELF with other e-bikes aside from storage compartment? I remember this kind of bike when i was a toddler, very cute. How much this bike cost?

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