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Solar-Pedal Hybrid Transforms Urban Transport

With rising fuel prices and increased concern about reducing emissions, greener vehicles are getting a lot of attention right now, but most of them are conventional autos with hybrid systems, or small fuel-efficient engines, all of which are expensive to own and operate.

If you need an affordable and efficient urban vehicle that is also powered by renewable energy, a new type of hybrid is hitting the market soon – a solar/pedal hybrid, called the ELF.

The ELF, from Organic Transport, is a unique three-wheeled urban commuter vehicle with an integrated 60 W solar panel system for recharging the internal 480 W lithium battery, and a drivetrain that can either be pedaled or be driven with the ELF’s 750 W electric motors.

According to the maker, the ELF gets 1800 MPGe, and has a 30 mile range, which is sufficient for most daily urban commuting tasks, and because it’s classified as a bicycle, it doesn’t need to be registered, inspected, or insured.

The fully enclosed composite cabin, capable of handling 350 lbs of payload, keeps passengers and cargo out of the weather, and the ELF has LED head, tail, and signal lights for safety, as well as rearview mirrors for safety.

“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.” – Organic Transport

Charging the ELF is as easy as parking it in the sun, but the battery can also be either charged in place or removed and charged with standard house current. The first production run of the ELF is expected in May, with a base price of $4,000 USD, and future models (such as the Truckit delivery vehicle) becoming available shortly.

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