Nope, this is an ELF that’s even better than a tiny person all in green who will sit on your shelf and help you bribe your children to behave in the days leading up to Christmas.
This ELF is a personal “sun powered trike” which combines, as their website says, the ease of a car with the benefits of a bike. Here is what the folks at ELF want you to know:
- ELF’s bike pedals and solar electric features make your ride fun and easy, clean and green… and fast.
- The spacious interior keeps you out of the elements and in view of other drivers. There’s even a trunk so you can store groceries or other cargo!
- The ELF gets power through the solar panels or simply by plugging into a socket.
- The ELF is designed to make bike commuting accessible and affordable for everybody.
- It’s the perfect vehicle for people who want to reduce their car usage but want more than a pedal bike can offer.
At a base price of just under $5,000, the ELF more than pays for itself in a short of amount of time. Whereas an average car comes with an annual price tag of about $9,000 (including gas, maintenance & registration/insurance), the ELF allows you to travel the equivalent of 1,800 miles for what a gallon of gas would provide and cost. It weighs only 150 pounds, carries a maximum of 350 pounds, and can travel a little more than 14 miles on a charge.
ELF can also help you get in shape as you commute. You can pedal all the way, or use electric assist if you don’t want to work up a sweat that will make you uncomfortable once you arrive at the office. No more expensive gym memberships required, and no need to make time for exercise!
The ELF is manufactured in Durham, NC and received start-up funding via Kickstarter, which supports creative projects brought to life through public monetary pledges. Since Kickstarter’s 2009 launch, 5.2 million people have pledged $884 million and funded 52,000 creative projects as part of the “sharing economy” which The Confident Commuter wrote about a few weeks ago. ELF originally set $100,000 goal, which they met on January 13, 2013; they ultimately raised 225% of their goal, or $225,789, pledged to them by 547 “backers”.
In Maryland, ELF is considered a Moped, and requires title, registration, insurance, and a driver over 16 years, wearing a helmet; however, these regulations vary from state-to-state. For more information about ELF, visit www.organictransit.com.
I know I’d love to see one of these in my driveway this Holiday, much more than a gas-guzzling luxury sedan!