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Tue Jan 22, 2013, 03:35 PM

Will The Elf Save The Humans?

http://digitallife.today.com/_news/2013/01/17/16570977-some-of-the-tech-of-tomorrow-is-here-today?lite

Hobbits and elves are totally in right now, even when it comes to new rides. The ELF Electric Hybrid bike is powered by the pedaler and the sun or with an electric motor boost, whenever you want it. Legally, this electric hybrid bike can go anywhere a regular bike goes (although, riders take note that in some places, like New York City, there are weird rules when it comes to electric bikes on the street).

This is actually a Kickstarter-funded project, and more than 60 units have been sold ó 50 through Kickstarter and about a dozen outside of the campaign. Expect to see them hit the streets soon after delivery, which will be March through May. For now, ELF will be available online, but creators envision one day selling the units in dealerships nationwide.

Want some specs? ELF can go for 1,800 miles using the energy equivalence of what would be one gallon of gasoline. Max speed is 20 mph. The bike gets charged by 80-watt rooftop solar panels or via lithium ion battery, which takes about two hours to charge. ELF can go for about 30 miles on a full battery. No special license is required to ride it and it weighs 112 pounds and carries 350 pounds of cargo. The bikeís height is on level with passengers in cars for visibility, in addition to LED lighting for headlights, brakes and turn signals.

Plus, letís just be honest: you will look cool.

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Velos tend to be pricey, and the Elf has a base price of $4K. Mass production would obviously drive down the prices of all Velos. Something like the Elf seems like it might appeal to a much wider market.

I would ride a traditional Velo, but I'm one of that damned, dirty bikers.



17 replies, 1271 views

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Response to Kennah (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 03:42 PM

1. I want one of these.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 03:50 PM

2. The trick is figuring out how and where to lawfully ride it


It mainly seems to be a recumbent e-bike with a cowling, and *may* qualify as a bicycle, but it is probably subject to whatever one's state or local definitions might require for using streets or bike lanes.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:43 PM

5. It's definitely a recumbent electric assist tadpole trike

I read an article about electric assist bikes a couple of years ago. There were one or two states with funky laws that either legally forbade electric assist bikes or classified them as mopeds requiring an operator's permit. New Jersey sticks in my head as one.

Washington forbids them on sidewalks and limited access highways, plus local jurisdictions can limit their access on trails.
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.61.710

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Response to Kennah (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:48 PM

8. In the video, he uses a crosswalk and a sidewalk

...or turns off onto a park path of some kind.

Have you seen the monocycle? That challenges definitions too.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:11 PM

12. North Carolina doesn't appear to have any special E-bike laws

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Response to Kennah (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 03:52 PM

3. I'll just take the bus.

I don't know where the hell you could ride it.

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Response to HappyMe (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:45 PM

6. Anywhere you can ride an electric assist bike

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Response to Kennah (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:54 PM

9. I can see those things

irritating the hell out of a bunch of people.
If I were driving, I wouldn't want to have to deal with it. Not as a pedestrian or riding an actual bike.

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Response to Kennah (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 04:33 PM

4. Gees! It's a trike, not a bike! nt

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Response to longship (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:46 PM

7. I know. It eats into the kickstand manufacturing market.

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Response to Kennah (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:55 PM

10. Top speed is twenty mph?

 

Hell, a decent biker can go that fast on a regular street ten or twelve speed, and you don't have to waste the energy to recharge it, or pollute the land to get the rare earths that go into its construction.

What a waste.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #10)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:00 PM

11. I think 20 MPH is the top speed at which the electric assist assists

That's federal law. One can always pedal faster.

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Response to Kennah (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:21 PM

14. Tough to pedal faster on a bike weighed down with a lithium battery and an electric motor.

 

Adds probably something like thirty to fifty pounds to the curb weight of the bike.

If this is the first step in the evolution of something that will go faster, great. But if not, then it is a waste.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #14)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:58 PM

16. Everything I read about velos, the body is the biggest additional weight

The batteries and motors, of those that have them, are a small chunk of weight by comparison.

Now, insofar as leading to something else, yes that is a very real possibility. Velos today are bought by cyclists. Something like the Elf seems like it could have much wider appeal, be more utilitarian, less aerodynamic so not as fast, but more people in them.

Throw in more batteries, and a bigger motor, and take off to 85 KPH (53 MPH) today--although not legally on the streets.



Without electric assist, velos now can easily outrun conventional bikes on the flats and I've read 75 MPH downhill.

The video say 76 KPH (47 MPH) but I can't clearly see it on the speedo or Garmin. However, watching the scenery, he's definitely hauling ass.


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Response to MadHound (Reply #14)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:04 AM

17. The bike was over 100 pounds. The average person could pedal it a few mph, for a few blocks. nt

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Response to Kennah (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:21 PM

13. The thing looks way under-engineered to me. Exposed wiring. Kludged wheel covers. Any suspension?

$4k will only get you a middle of the road pedal powered bike with two wheels, so a $4k/electric trike will have to cut some corners somewhere. Looks like a deathtrap, to me.

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Response to Kennah (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:32 PM

15. Nnnnnnnnope.

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