Organic Transit’s ELF starts at $5,000 and it looks like a hell of a good idea for the right type of client. Think of the ELF as a covered, electric-augmented, three-wheeled pedal-car and you’re pretty much on target. It’s a simple machine, based on human power to be the primary motivator with a small, 750 watt electric motor.
Maximum speed of Organic Transit’s ELF is limited to 20 mph, which keeps it classified as a bicycle under Federal law. It can carry up to 350 lbs while weighing about 150 lbs. Depending on road conditions, the driver’s weight and Ed Begley Jr – the electric range is around 20(ish) miles.
Organic Transit’s ELF has a small 60w solar panel that can recharge the battery in about seven-hours. Plug it in to “The Man’s” system (a regular outlet) and your recharge time drops to around an hour. Or, use your muscle and recharge it as you pedal WITH solar energy. Mother nature can keep you off the grid man!
Okay, I joke at the ELF’s expense, but I believe it’s a great idea for the right type of commuter.
I personally know many professionals, students and a few billion people in the Far East who could use this baby. Sure, it’s primitive with no doors, windshield-wipers or ashtray, it sure beats riding a ten-speed all day. There is storage behind the seat that can hold range-extending batteries, backpacks or hacky-sacks. Organic Transit’s ELF comes with a full compliment of driving lights too.
The ELF uses a standard 26″ mountain bike rim for each wheel and they can accommodate studded (bike) tires.
The poly-carbonate shell, side mirrors, solar electric assist, disc brakes, headlights, taillights, and signals come standard. According to Organic Transit: “Sound systems, phone docks, mp3 player docks, etc. will all be optional accessories.” Organic Transit’s ELF comes in White, Wasabi, Titanium and Mango.
“The range offered by the battery depends on how and where you use your ELF. For the best performance, the pedals should be used as much as possible, particularly to build momentum from a full stop. Doing so can give you a range of 20-30 miles or more. If you use the motor exclusively, carry heavy loads, go the top speed, climb a lot of hills, etc. you may experience a significant range reduction but should still get 8-10 miles on a charge. The battery tray can accommodate two batteries for those who wish to purchase and carry a spare.” – - Organic Transit
Organic Transit’s ELF is available now, but keep in mind that, according to Organic Transit: deliveries of the new vehicle can take 3-4 months. Delivery charge is not included and they come out of Durham, NC… I know, I thought it was Seattle, WA or California for sure.
“An OTV can be used just like any other bike or trike that only needs the strength in your legs to make it go. What makes it more fun and useful, however, is the electric motor that gives you a boost of power whenever you need or want it. All it takes is a simple twist of the throttle to zip up a hill or make a week’s worth of groceries in the back feel as light as a bag of takeout. You can maximize your calorie burn by just using the pedals, stay cool and comfortable by letting the motor do all the work, or any combination of the two. It’s up to you!” – - Organic Transit
I would love to test drive one of these machines as I think there’s some serious potential here. Sure, they need to add a passenger’s seat, doors, wipers and a horn, but it’s a good start. I think the price is about 15% too high as well. It would be nice if they financed (they don’t – yet) so a college student could buy/lease one for $100 bucks per month, or something along those lines.
Still, with my nit-picking aside, I like the groovy places an idea like this could take you.
Speaking of electric power, check out Roman’s video review of the Tesla Model S!