Education Information Project

ELF 3-wheel pedal-solar powered electric powered trike

A bank of front- and rear-mounted LEDs illuminates the road while three 26-inch mountain bike tires round out the package. The ELF only has one seat, but the rear cargo compartment can handle about eight grocery bags, according to the crew at OT. Propulsion comes from a 750-watt neodymium magnet motor, which gets its power from an 8-pound, 88.8-volt lithium-ion battery pack. OT says the ELF charges from a standard 110-volt outlet, and goes from empty to full in about two hours. That’s good for about 30 miles per charge, but if that’s not enough to get you back from the locavore, all-vegan co-op, a set of pedals are ready and waiting. If it’s a sunny day, park the thing in some sunshine and the battery will go even further – on the roof, there’s a 60-watt photovoltaic panel that sends a charge to the battery, but it only works when the ELF isn’t in motion.

The specs

Power Source

  • Solar and pedal -- two unlimited resources derived from the sun and you.
  • 60 watt solar panel (standard, upgrades available)
  • 750 watt permanent neodymium magnet motors
  • 480w lithium battery
  • PWM controller
  • CVT drivetrain (continuously variable transmission)


  • Vacuum formed Trylon (composite of 85% recycled ABS and Solarcote)
  • Windshield made from UV resistant polycarbonate
  • LED lighting including headlights, brake lights, markers, and turn signals


  • 45% recycled aluminum
  • 26" high volume wheels front and rear with 20mm through axles and 36 spokes
  • Disc brakes
  • Coroplast wheel covers
  • Storage compartment with room for eight bags of groceries/350lbs cargo

ELF 3-wheel pedal-solar powered electric powered trike

The Elf from Organic Transit

solar and pedal power
click to play video

"The ELF is a solar/pedal hybrid vehicle suitable for commuting, deliveries, and other local transportation needs. This three-wheeled electric assist velomobile fills the niche between a bicycle and a car and offers advantages over both."

Manufactured in North Carolina, this is a very versatile solar/pedal powered vehicle. Organic Transit, a Durham, North Carolina-based “vehicle” company started with an aluminum frame and then added a composite body with a polycarbonate windshield to wrap around the lone rider. read more



  • 1800 MPGe (gets 1800 miles for the energy equivalent of 1 gallon of gas)
  • 30 mile range with each 8 pound battery pack
  • Potential to mitigate 28,000 lbs of CO2 per year per unit
  • Classified as a bicycle in all 50 states