'ELF' Vehicle Like a Bike-Car Combo
Green alternative costs about $5K
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 31, 2013 7:13 PM CDT
Mark Stewart shows off his ELF bike in Virginia.   (Valerie Bonk)

(Newser) – Mark Stewart turns quite a few heads as he zips through the streets on his neon green ELF bike. What he's driving looks like a cross between a bicycle and a car, the closest thing yet to Fred Flintstone's footmobile, only with solar panels and a futuristic shape. The ELF can go up to 30 mph, combining pedal and electric power, and reach 20 mph on electric power alone. Stewart, a 65-year-old from Cambridge, Mass., took the summer off to drive his new ELF bike more than 1,200 miles on trails and roads using the East Coast Greenway, a bike and pedestrian trail that runs from Canada to Key West.

The ELF, or "Organic Transit Vehicle," can go for 1,800 miles on the energy equivalent of a gallon of gasoline. Besides the cost of the occasional new tire, the ELF runs completely off what it costs to charge its battery. Stewart bought the ELF from Durham-based Organic Transit, which sells them for a base price of $5,000. The company is working on its 75th bike, with more than 200 already sold or reserved with a deposit. "A lot of cops have gone by me (and) no one's said boo," says Stewart. "They'll look, they're interested but they don't question its right to be on the road."

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Showing 3 of 48 comments
demand_sider
Oct 17, 2015 12:32 PM CDT
Much cheaper than a triple bypass, carries up to 550 pounds, keeps you dry, doesn't require insurance, and can ride on bike paths in most non fascist states and cities. This thing is common sense. Many governments hate it, though, because their revenue stream depends on cars.
Ivan_the_Gypsy
Aug 2, 2013 8:02 PM CDT
I thought that the Smart Car was a dumb and dangerous idea. Imagine these motorized rickshaws on the roads? Why not just buy a golf cart?
backpath2
Aug 1, 2013 7:29 PM CDT
It looks like a cross between a leaf bagger and a sardine tin, and costs as much as a good used Crown Victoria. I think I'll stick with the Ford.