Corvallisite Jerry Rooney has taken the Smart Car idea to a new level: he is the proud owner of an ELF tricycle. The ELF is a pedal, solar, and electric hybrid, traveling at top speeds of 20 miles per hour and weighing about 150 pounds. The ELF can be powered by pedaling or by running the electric motor, which has a 14-mile range when run continuously. When Rooney initially purchased the ELF, the tricycle cost $4,000 as a special Kickstarter incentive. Today, the cost is around $5,500.
Manufactured in Durham, North Carolina by Organic Transit, the ELF bike is legally allowed anywhere a bike can go. Equipped with a protective shell, headlights, side mirrors, brake, and turn signals, the ELF bike proves spacious, and in Rooney’s opinion, safer than a bicycle due to increased visibility. Rooney has been an avid bike rider for many years, and strongly believes that anybody who is able to should “get around on their own will.” Rooney is pleased with the comfort and convenience his ELF provides, and has had only a few issues with maintenance and durability.
Upon purchase, the ELF is shipped from Durham, a process that can take up to seven months. Although the wait time may be a bit dismaying, the benefits of the ELF are undeniable. The ELF has zero emissions, shelters the driver from the weather, and provides exercise to the extent that one pedals. In a city such as Corvallis, known for its bike friendliness, you may start seeing more of these.
By Kirsten Allen