ELF – A hybrid vehicle powered by you and the sun

Presently, we are harping on the renewable energy sources instead of traditional gasoline fuel for our vehicles due to various environmental issues. A step further in the green energy powered vehicle is need of the hour. Pedal power is the transfer of energy from a human source through the use of a foot pedal and crank system. This technology is most commonly used for transportation and has been used to propel bicycles for over a hundred years. Less commonly pedal power is used to power agricultural and hand tools and even to generate electricity.

Some applications include pedal powered laptops, pedal powered grinders and pedal powered water wells. Some third world development projects currently transform used bicycles into pedal powered tools for sustainable development.

A startup company called ‘Organic Transit’ has created ‘ELF’ – a highly innovative solar powered pedal hybrid vehicle. It’s said to be the most efficient vehicle on the planet, it is a revolution in transportation and gets the equivalent of 1800 MPG. It’s future of urban transport.
Credit: Organic Transit
Now you can be part of the solution not the problem. An ELF can be powered by the sun with no carbon emissions and complete independence from fossil fuels. And you can still travel at the speed of most city traffic.
Burn calories, not oil! Use the motor when you don’t want to work up a sweat — or get in a great workout when you do, by pedaling. Do errands and haul home your groceries with ease. The electric assist allows you to customize the amount of effort you expend wherever you need to go. Pedal all the way, get a boost on hills, or just sit back and enjoy a quiet ride. 
Two years ago, Rob Cotter (The founder & CEO) launched Organic Transit, a startup that designs, builds, and sells the ELF, an “electric, light, and fun” vehicle that’s essentially an enclosed recumbent tricycle. With an optional electric- and solar-powered motor, the ELF can go up to 30 miles per hour. Though it comes with headlights, turn signals, a cargo space that fits more than a dozen bags of groceries, a roof, and (soon) doors, it’s legally a bike.
Credit: Organic Transit
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 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 ELF requires no driver’s license and can travel on bike paths or lanes and in any weather. Perhaps most importantly, the company estimates that one ELF can prevent as many as six tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere annually, if it’s used in place of a car.
“There is nothing more polluting than driving our cars each day,” Cotter says. “As individuals, we are limited as to what we can effectively implement, but we can change how we behave. Getting out of your car and using your body along with a solar assist is the most powerful thing you can do.”
A standard ELF costs $5,500, though with add-on features, the average price is around $7,200. Organic Transit has sold about 450 ELFs since it launched.
It no doubt will appeal to anyone hoping to reduce emissions or frustrated by inadequate parking space in urban centers. Because it’s also partly pedal-powered, it also comes with a heart monitor that alerts operators if they’re working too hard.
Explore further in Organic Transit


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