Meet Elf: The 1 HP Solar-Rechargeable Electric With 30 Miles of Range (w/video)


Rob Cotter, former performance engineer and tuner with Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, knows what it takes to make an automobile as powerful as possible, but this time he took an entirely different path.

Pair of Elfs

Pair of Elfs

Cotter, founder and CEO of Organic Transit, fitted the Elf electric vehicle seen here with a 1-hp motor.  Yep, only 1.

Organic Transit set out to make the Elf the most efficient means of self transport available.  The semi-enclosed, solar-chargeable, plug-in, bike-lane-legal, electric bicycle/trike/automobile feature a rear-mounted 1-hp motor and either one or two lithium-ion battery packs.  Think of Elf as either a trike with a canopy or a car (?) without doors.  It’s sort of Renault Twizy-ish, but not quite.

Even Cotter doesn’t know how to categorize Elf:



“We’re creating our own consumer product category.”

Organic Transit claims to have 1,500 outstanding orders for Elf, which costs $4,995 in base form or considerably more if you opt for the second battery pack, continuously variable transmission rear hub or upgrade solar panels.

Here are those ever-so-important specs:

  • Capacity of 350 pounds
  • Top assisted speed 20 mph 
  • Range of up to 30 miles or more if you pedal often
  • 60-watt solar panels

Check out the video to see what it’s like to drive Elf around town for a day.

Source: Market Watch

Categories: General

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7 Comments on "Meet Elf: The 1 HP Solar-Rechargeable Electric With 30 Miles of Range (w/video)"

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Hehe, anvil on wheels. Not exactly a raving endorsement of the A2B engineering.
An electric bike should really be a super simple light thing. Getting rid of the pedal would make it dramatically simpler still.

It is like a cross between a bicycle and an NEV.

I guess only the Booster Boards are a more efficient way of transportation 🙂

I converted my bicycle to electric, before I did I tried some other commercially available e-bicycles with 500w motors, and decided I needed more power. So, I built one with 1kw (1.3 hp) and that zips along nicely, but it weighs only 70 lbs total (includes 25lbs of Lithiums that can take me 20-30 miles w/o pedaling). The Elf will feel like an under-powered go-cart at best and be cumbersome to store at home as compared to an e-bike and not come close to the utility of an NEV. I see it as the worst of both worlds.

I hate to say it too, because I really love the idea of a pedal-electric hybrid. If it was just a little bit closer in speed, quality, utility, and comfort as the Twike (but still much less, since the Twike is way too expensive), then I’d be sold. See the Twike here:

If I could buy an ELF kit for $2000 I would. I really love the design. But it’s a recumbent electric bicycle with some plastic sheeting. It screams “DIY Maker Kit with pre-built option for $3000 extra”. I mean, really. Dig that fit and finish, not. It screams kit! And that’s awesome, but it should be a kit, so I hope there are copycats designs that offer kits.

I hope they are able to lower the price as they ramp up production. You can buy a good quality bicycle for $500, so I think $2-3K for an ELF should be possible. I also think they should try to improve the aero dynamics – the sides need to taper and the trailing edges need to be “crisp” to form a Kamm back; rather than curving all the way. This would greatly improve the range.

I absolutely love the concept and I would own an ELF in a second and use it every day. We need to learn from velomobiles like the Quest et al and we could have even better daily vehicles.


I meant to ask if you are sure that the base ELF comes with 60W of solar PV cells; or 30W? If it is (now?) 60W, then that would partially explain the price increase – or more likely, the earlier $4,000 price was only for their Kickstarter contributors.