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Archive | 6:44 pm

Kickstarting the Future of Solar Transportation

20 Jan

Here comes the cleanest, most efficient vehicle on the planet.

The ELF is a solar/pedal hybrid vehicle suitable for commuting, deliveries, and other local transportation needs. This three-wheeled electric assist velomobile fills the niche between a bicycle and a car and offers advantages over both.

Carbon lite ELF on display at Durham Centerfest
Carbon lite ELF on display at Durham Centerfest

The ELF is just the vehicle you need.

Are you tired of spending money filling up your gas tank every week? Are you plagued with nagging guilt over your personal contribution to climate change every time you hop in the car for a short trip to the store? Do you think about riding a bike to work, but don’t want to show up sweaty? Does it make you nervous to see cars crowd cyclists out of the lane and hesitate to put yourself at risk in that way? The ELF is for you!

The ELF is designed to carry both rider and cargo inside a weatherproof shell that comes fully equipped with lights, signals, and mirrors. The electric motor can be fully engaged for a cool and quiet ride to work or can be used just for a boost when pedaling up hills. The lithium battery pack can be recharged using the roof top solar panels or by plugging in to a standard outlet. The tadpole configuration of the three wheels offers outstanding stability and control. The ELF is a high visibility vehicle that allows you to claim your space on the road while still fitting neatly into standard bike lanes.

The specs

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
  • 480w  lithium battery
  • PWM controller
  • 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

Read more…

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