Dig On This!
The Velomobile ELF electric assist recumbent three wheeled bicycle...
New way to go Electric-assist trike sports solar panels, cover and a trunk
The ELF, which comes with two cloth shopping bags
to hang in a carrying compartment in the rear, weighs less than 150
pounds, carries a load of up to 350 pounds, travels up to 20 mph on
battery power, recharges in less than an hour by charger or seven hours
by sunlight, and has a battery range of 20 miles. Organic Transit’s logo
on the back of the oversized tricycle even makes it look like you’re
taking the T when you’re riding in it.
“You motor to work, you don’t get there all
shvitzy, and on the way home have your workout,” said Rosenberg. “That’s
the thought behind it. How brilliant.”
To get started, you climb in over the aluminum
frame, which supports a recycled-plastic shell, and climb into a slung
seat which puts the driver about level with automobile drivers. Since
there’s no reverse gear, backing up means using your feet on the ground a
la Fred Flintstone, then start pedaling and click on the battery to
boost as needed.
Goldman, who also ordered her green ELF on
Kickstarter, found Rosenberg and Talmage realizing that shipping the
velomobiles in protective crates was seriously driving up their costs.
She tracked down others that could be delivered to Pennsylvania and New
England on a truck with the vehicles tied on back, and as soon as hers
was delivered Wednesday, she loaded it down with bread for the Amherst
“It’s fun,” said Goldman, who on Thursday used it
to get to the South Hadley farmers market, then to a concert in
Northampton, and finally back to Amherst, learning the need to maneuver
around potholes and bumps, for which her mountain bike is more
[Peter] Talmage, an engineer who’s had electric bikes to
ride to his teaching job at Greenfield Community College, said, “The
ELF offered the opportunity I could use in all sorts of weather. I’m
amazed at what they put together, and at the completeness of what they
The trike comes with a 10 amp-hour, 48-volt
battery, that’s one-third the weight of a car battery with a little less
storage capacity, but should lasts 10 times longer, Talmage said. And
the vehicle’s 60-watt solar panel is lightweight and replaces a roof
panel “as a simple way to regenerate a lot of electricity while you’re
just parked in a parking lot somewhere.”