I’m in Love with an ELF

6 Mar
From OrganicTransit.com.

From OrganicTransit.com.

Well, actually not one in particular, but rather the product.  A friend recently pointed me toward a new vehicle that could really take human-powered transport to the next level.

The ELF is basically a small pedal-powered car, not far from a recumbent bike with a shell.  This isn’t the first time someone has put a body of some kind around a pedal-powered vehicle, but as far as I know this is the first one that is designed for most any adult to use easily.  The differences are: electric assist, a shell that protects from the elements (to some degree), and room to carry and lock up a significant amount of cargo.  It has a top speed of 30 mph and can be plugged in for recharging, but also includes a solar panel!  It also has built-in lights and signals, not to mention 24/7 roadside assistance.  (Not sure how that works, but that’s what they say).

The one thing that surprised me — in a less than positive way — is that, according to the FAQ, to incorporate a child seat you have to find a way to rig it up yourself.

As with some cargo bikes, the price might produce an initial gasp: $5K for the basic package.  But if you’re replacing a car or a bunch of car trips, you would make back that money within a couple of years, even if you keep your car.  According to the site, no license or insurance are needed, so aside from maintenance, the cost to keep one is very low.  So who’s going to be the first to own an ELF in Richmond?

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One Response to “I’m in Love with an ELF”

  1. billyboneparte42 March 7, 2014 at 3:30 AM #

    Go for it and set the standard for modern transportation in Richmond. I could totally see you riding that thing!

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