FRIDAY 07 DECEMBER, 2012 |
ELF - Solar Assisted Electric Personal Vehicle
It's not quite a car or a bicycle; but something that falls in between - a
three-wheeled electric vehicle with pedals.
While the silly season is littered with representations of what have been
previously considered sinister mythological supernatural beings, this ELF is
The ELF is a solar/pedal hybrid vehicle suitable for commuting, deliveries and
other short distance transportation applications.
Able to provide up to a 45 kilometre range on a single charge, the ELF is
powered by a 750 watt permanent neodymium magnet motor. Energy storage is
in the form of a lightweight 3.6 kilogram lithium battery pack. A 60 watt solar
panel, which can be upgraded, is embedded in the roof section. Recharging the
battery pack via mains power takes around 2 hours.
The ELF's lightweight body is made with vacuum formed Trylon (85% recycled ABS and
Solarcote), with a windshield constructed from UV resistant polycarbonate. The
frame consists of 45% recycled aluminium.
Other features of the vehicle include LED lighting, continuously variable transmission
and disc brakes.
The ELF is primarily designed to be a single passenger vehicle, but a jump seat
can added behind the driver's seat. The vehicle can carry a payload of around
Unlike many hi-tech personal electric vehicles, the ELF will have a
comparatively very reasonable price tag of around USD$4,000. The team behind the
vehicle have launched a Kickstarter
to raise the funds needed to commence commercial production.
While the ELF will be considered a bicycle in US states and therefore not
requiring vehicle registration or a license to operate; that likely won't be the
case in Australia even with upcoming changes to related legislation covering
electric bicycles. Previously limited to a 200 watt electric motor, the bump up
to 250 watts will still see vehicles such as the ELF unfortunately fall well
outside the guidelines allowing them to be classified as bicycles.
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