new videos
hot off the press!  
    more about rocket
mass heaters here.

more videos from
the PDC here.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

ELF - an electric assist commuter tricycle vehicle  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22172
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Kinda looks a little like a flintstones car is mixed in there too.

When I look at this I think it would be cool to be able to store two extra batteries in there. Maybe have a total of three batteries with one plug-in. Then you would have triple the range.





Apparently the electric range for one battery is 14 miles and they say it gets "1800 mpg". It takes seven hours to fully charge the battery with the solar panel, or an hour and a half if you plug it in.



http://organictransit.com/
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22172
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I remember in my corporate whore days I was trying to figure out how to triple my income per hour of effort, and part of what I figured out was that it was helpful to arrive to the office clean and tidy and looking like a professional. So - no helmet head. And no sweat. So I left my bicycle at home. Granted - there were people that were bicycling to work. And none of them (that I saw) were earning the freaky big bucks.

This ELF seems like it could be the solution. Cruise to work on the electric (no sweating) and then pedal/cruise home (sweat if you want to). No helmet.

 
R Scott
Posts: 3349
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
32
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I keep playing with the idea of a recumbent hybrid motor-trike. Not some stinky two stroke but an efficient clean four stroke, just enough to hold cruising speed. Electric to give the power to accelerate in traffic or climb hills. Solar and regenerative braking. Pedal power as well. Bicycle disk brakes are good enough these days, no need for heavy motorcycle components.

But that gets EXPENSIVE fast and fails the same hybrid failure--batteries are so heavy they hurt you under many situations. Batteries on a hybrid are like fuel on a rocket--you can get so heavy you can't carry your own weight.
 
Dick Chase
Posts: 4
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've been wondering if/when the ELF would make an appearance here. The ELF is all you could hope for. We got ours last summer as one of the Kickstarters and from the day it arrived I never needed to use my regular car for any around-town errand. We live about 3 miles from town and use it for everything. It can carry 350 pounds of cargo, keeps you dry in the rain, takes you up hills with no effort and lets you put as much effort into pedaling as you wish. You can use it as an electric vehicle and not pedal at all if you want. Beware though, if you get one you will be the center of attention wherever you take it. Hurray for Organic Transit.

There is room for a second battery right behind the first and lots of space to put more if needed.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22172
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dick Chase wrote:I've been wondering if/when the ELF would make an appearance here. The ELF is all you could hope for. We got ours last summer as one of the Kickstarters and from the day it arrived I never needed to use my regular car for any around-town errand. We live about 3 miles from town and use it for everything. It can carry 350 pounds of cargo, keeps you dry in the rain, takes you up hills with no effort and lets you put as much effort into pedaling as you wish. You can use it as an electric vehicle and not pedal at all if you want. Beware though, if you get one you will be the center of attention wherever you take it. Hurray for Organic Transit.

There is room for a second battery right behind the first and lots of space to put more if needed.


Dick,

Can you post some pics of yours?

How far can you go? How fast with just electric?
 
Kevin Young
Posts: 33
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I spent a few years importing and selling scooter-style electric bikes and became quite familiar with the electric bike industry. The ELF stands out nicely in many regards, including that it is made in the U.S. and the company is run by the inventor. It is pricey for most people to consider (hard to compete with a plain bike price wise), but I think it is a fair price for what is being offered. I would like to see the motor act as a pedal assist rather than a throttle control only (maybe it does and I missed that).

Two more to be aware of: http://litmotors.com has an electric enclosed self-balancing motorcycle called the C1 that can do freeway speeds and has great range--a true commuter vehicle. Http://Optibike.com has what can only be called the Ferrari of Ebikes. It is an incredible experience to ride one, and you will be able to ride up trails like you just turned into Lance Armstrong.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
Posts: 2679
Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
174
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
WANT!!

Although I cannot drive any more due to vision issues - this might work. I've tried "adult trikes" and I've fallen off of them - meh. Something like this would help me, the one-eyed permaculturist, be more mobile. It would also provide shade from our intense summer sun. I gave myself heat stroke one year riding my bike to work in summer...

And it comes in Wasabi Green. Could this get more perfect?
 
Heather Brenner
Posts: 28
Location: Helmville, Montana
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This looks viable--in summer. In winter, it looks like a fancy way to commit suicide, for several different reasons.
 
Dick Chase
Posts: 4
2
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have way more photos than you'd care to look at but I'll see if I can add a few here. If there are specific things you'd like to see just let me know.

The ELF (which is short for Electric - Light - Fun) come with a 10 AmpHour LiFe battery which is probably good for 15 miles or so. It all depends on terrain, speed and how much muscle you add. I've heard some ELFer's have gotten over 30 miles on a charge. On flat ground it does 20mph on motor alone. I find I'm using the motor about 90% of the time and am pedaling at least that much too, but only as hard as I feel like at the moment. The motor and pedals are fully independent. Mine has a continuously variable transmission that is smooth as butter and I can pedal as hard and as fast as I wish regardless of how fast I'm moving.

I'm happy to answer any questions and invite anyone in the midcoast Maine area to come have a look and take a ride if they wish. There are several ELFs in Maine already, about 6 I think, and I've heard there may be a couple more before long. At least for the Kickstarters, Maine had the highest number of ELF per capita. There is at least one hardy soul who has been commuting over 30 miles round trip daily all winter. Yup, he works at LLBean's HQ.

IMG_6967-1.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_6967-1.jpg]
ELF on the Maine Coast
IMG_6793-1.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_6793-1.jpg]
First ELF trip was to the Transfer Station
IMG_6108.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_6108.JPG]
Stopped at the farm stand after the dump run
 
Julia Winter
steward
Posts: 2044
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
174
bee bike chicken food preservation hugelkultur urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That is cool. I wonder what it would take to get something for the recumbent trike I already have? (A way to ride in the rain without getting wet would make biking to work a lot more feasible.)
 
Katrin Kerns
Posts: 126
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If I had the $4000 to spare, I would buy one in half a heartbeat! Way too cool, I love the fact that the first one's to ship were being sent to my area.
 
Katrin Kerns
Posts: 126
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dick Chase wrote:I have way more photos than you'd care to look at but I'll see if I can add a few here. If there are specific things you'd like to see just let me know.

The ELF (which is short for Electric - Light - Fun) come with a 10 AmpHour LiFe battery which is probably good for 15 miles or so. It all depends on terrain, speed and how much muscle you add. I've heard some ELFer's have gotten over 30 miles on a charge. On flat ground it does 20mph on motor alone. I find I'm using the motor about 90% of the time and am pedaling at least that much too, but only as hard as I feel like at the moment. The motor and pedals are fully independent. Mine has a continuously variable transmission that is smooth as butter and I can pedal as hard and as fast as I wish regardless of how fast I'm moving.

I'm happy to answer any questions and invite anyone in the midcoast Maine area to come have a look and take a ride if they wish. There are several ELFs in Maine already, about 6 I think, and I've heard there may be a couple more before long. At least for the Kickstarters, Maine had the highest number of ELF per capita. There is at least one hardy soul who has been commuting over 30 miles round trip daily all winter. Yup, he works at LLBean's HQ.



My biggest question is, does it have any doors? Or covers, I think it would get pretty cold in the winter (even with you peddling your but off) if there was nothing to close off the sides.
 
Steven Johnson
Posts: 61
Location: south east mo
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dick, which cvt do you use, I suspect the nu vinci. they told me that with them, regenerative braking was out, and that's what I really want, that and pedal charging. I believe it is doable.
check out velomobiles on you tube, for ideas on enclosing other recumbants. this is an idea whose time has come.
 
Enrique Garcia
Posts: 86
Location: Las Vegas, NV
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Went to the websites ... starting at $3-4 grand up to 7-8 Grand $$ ... you'd save on gas of course ... & there is a friend of mine who points out that cars only average 6-10 miles per hour if you factor in ALL the facts .. like how much time you spend earning the $$ to pay for your car !!
 
R Scott
Posts: 3349
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
32
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Julia Winter wrote:That is cool. I wonder what it would take to get something for the recumbent trike I already have? (A way to ride in the rain without getting wet would make biking to work a lot more feasible.)


Easy, in theory. A little tougher if you want it to look good, really protect, not add more weight than you gain in aerodynamics, and be easy to get in or out.
 
Joe DiMeglio
Posts: 47
Location: Tucson, AZ Zone 9A/9B
8
forest garden fungi greening the desert tiny house trees wofati
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
R Scott wrote:
Julia Winter wrote:That is cool. I wonder what it would take to get something for the recumbent trike I already have? (A way to ride in the rain without getting wet would make biking to work a lot more feasible.)


Easy, in theory. A little tougher if you want it to look good, really protect, not add more weight than you gain in aerodynamics, and be easy to get in or out.



The doors should be easy and light if you used thick, clear plastic like the stuff they use for convertible car top rear windows. Just velcro, zip or snap them on and have a zipper or other way to get in and out.

What would be super cool is if somebody came up with a 3D printer program that would print the plastic side pieces, tail light covers, dash and other plastic bits n bobs. Maybe using a honeycomb design on the inside of the shell for strength. Then you could make most of it yourself and save crazy money. A little larger electric motor and more solar panel area would be cool too.

Another big savings with these little buggers is no insurance, license, registration, title, emissions testing, and parking/ traffic tickets.
 
Topher Belknap
Posts: 205
Location: Midcoast Maine (zone 5b)
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Joe DiMeglio wrote:
What would be super cool is if somebody came up with a 3D printer program that would print the plastic side pieces, tail light covers, dash and other plastic bits n bobs. Maybe using a honeycomb design on the inside of the shell for strength. Then you could make most of it yourself and save crazy money.


How much is a 3D printer larger enough to print panels that large?

I suspect that a lot of the price is in assembly. If you could get a kit with just materials, that might be the cheapest method.
 
Joe DiMeglio
Posts: 47
Location: Tucson, AZ Zone 9A/9B
8
forest garden fungi greening the desert tiny house trees wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Topher Belknap wrote:
Joe DiMeglio wrote:
What would be super cool is if somebody came up with a 3D printer program that would print the plastic side pieces, tail light covers, dash and other plastic bits n bobs. Maybe using a honeycomb design on the inside of the shell for strength. Then you could make most of it yourself and save crazy money.


How much is a 3D printer larger enough to print panels that large?

I suspect that a lot of the price is in assembly. If you could get a kit with just materials, that might be the cheapest method.


Hi Topher, There are open source plans online for 3D printers, and I believe that you can scale them up to suit your needs. They print whole house wall sections with them now from what I've heard, so a car panel should be no problemo. You might check out Open Source Ecology and if they don't have the info listed, email them and ask about it. They're usually on the forefront of open source tech. It probably wouldn't be economical unless you were producing several of them though, due to the start up cost of the machine and materials. But this would be a good candidate for a kickstarter for sure.

Cheers, Joe
 
Topher Belknap
Posts: 205
Location: Midcoast Maine (zone 5b)
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Joe DiMeglio wrote:
Hi Topher, There are open source plans online for 3D printers, and I believe that you can scale them up to suit your needs. They print whole house wall sections with them now from what I've heard, so a car panel should be no problemo. You might check out Open Source Ecology and if they don't have the info listed, email them and ask about it. They're usually on the forefront of open source tech. It probably wouldn't be economical unless you were producing several of them though, due to the start up cost of the machine and materials. But this would be a good candidate for a kickstarter for sure.


The software isn't the expensive part. The mechanism required to 3D print something large is more complex and expensive than the ELF itself. A Gigabot kit runs $6k.

There already WAS a Kickstarter. For the ELF. That is why they can make those panels cheaply (molded being much cheaper than 3D printing, that is what they are doing).

My general rule is that one can't beat the price by duplicating a manufactured product, one has to do it differently. One has to do something radically different if it is a mass-produced item. Manufacturers have too many ways of hiding externalities, getting favorable circumstances, bulk buying, etc.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!