Published on December 10th, 2012 | by Jake Richardson2
Solar-Powered Pedal Car Project On Kickstarter
December 10th, 2012 by Jake Richardson
There’s another intriguing project on Kickstarter — this time, for a tiny solar- and pedal-powered vehicle. So far, the creators have over 75% of their fundraising goal achieved, and it looks like they will get all the way to the finish line.
The ELF is a three-wheeler for short trips designed to carry a rider and some cargo. It has a shell to protect against the elements and lights, turn signals, and mirrors. The electric motor can be used for cruising or just for an occasional assist to the occupant’s pedal power when going up hills.
The specs call for a 480w lithium battery, which can be charged by a 60-watt solar panel. The body is made of 85% recycled material with an aluminum frame for support. The vehicle’s range is estimated to about 30 miles per charge. Legally, ELFs will be classified as bicycles. Each ELF can carry up to 350 pounds of cargo. 750-watt permanent neodymium magnet motors will be used to power the vehicles.
The production goal is 1,000 velomobiles per month, with distribution in all states. The production facility design is intended to be something that can be copied and implemented in many locations, so there can be local production, as well. If their design could go into production in places like India or China where there is tremendous air pollution and congestion, the public health improvements could be very significant.
Electric bikes and velomobiles that also can be pedaled could reduce short trips in cars greatly, which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions because many trips in gas-powered cars and SUVs are for short distances.