ELF – Solar Assisted Electric Personal Vehicle

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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 real.
   
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 150 kilograms.
  
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 campaign 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.