This Elf is a solar power velomobile

Posted by Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling

When one thinks of an elf this time of year, visions of Santa’s little assistants at the North Pole come to mind.

Well, we aren’t talking about that type of elf in this story. Rather we are talking about Elf, a new electric vehicle design from start up Organic Transit that’s a solar/pedal hybrid idea which is said to fill "the niche between a bicycle and a car and offers advantages over both."

So what exactly is Elf? According to Gizmag, it is a three-wheeled electric velomobile that is currently in prototype phase. Its developers currently are seeking funding through Kickstarter, the popular online fundraising website, to help bring the first 100 of these EVs to market. They will retail for around $4,000 each.

The Elf is built so one can either get fully around on the 750 watt permanent neodymium magnet motors and 480w lithum battery pack alone or by pedal power mostly, with the electric motor only providing assistance when going up a hill.

The electric velomobile is said by Organic Transit to have an estimated 1800 MPGe meaning, according to them, that you get 800 miles for the energy equivalent of one gallon of gas. When in electric mode only, one can get up to 30 miles out of the eight pound battery pack.

While it takes up to two hours to fully charge the battery when plugged into a regular wall outlet, what’s particularly innovative about the Elf’s design is the integrated 60 watt solar panel which can also be used to refuel the vehicle as well. On the road, this EV qualifies as bicycle in all 50 states, meaning you could technically ride it in a bike lane if you so desired, though that might very well upset those who are riding actual bicycles around you.

In designing a vehicle that is practical as well as environmentally friendly, the Elf was built with a storage compartment with room for up to eight regular bags of groceries. It is fully equipped with LED lighting, including headlights, brake lights, markers, and turn signals and its shell is weatherproof to keep you dry on the commute home.

Organic Transit believes each Elf has the potential to mitigate 28,000 lbs of CO2 per year. The prototypes are being built via “a small team of dedicated people in a former furniture warehouse in downtown Durham, NC.”

Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling