Remember ELF, the solar powered, electric assist velomobile from late last year? It turns out it seems to be doing pretty well for itself in terms of sales, so much so that its developer Organic Transit said it is both moving to a larger facility in its home town as well as opening a new manufacturing center in a different part of the country.
Organic Transit said it recently outgrew an old retail furniture store where it began in 2011 in downtown Durham, North Carolina. It has since moved into a nearby space that’s significantly larger, offering chances for a a higher-volume manufacturing process. It tried to keep things sustainable though as it renovated the older building that’s now its newer location, utilizing recycled and upcycled materials that included skylights, LED lighting, edible gardens, green walls and bee hives.
Meanwhile, in San Jose, California, the Elf manufacturer is developing a a base to make local deliveries of vehicles and act as a regional maintenance facility. This facility, which will also act as “an assembly plant to service customers in western states,” is being done in conjunction with Good Karma Bikes, a non-profit that trains homeless individuals to become bicycle mechanics.
The ELF, of which over 200 have been sold thus far, is legally a bicycle that can travel on bike paths and roads without a driver’s license. It reportedly achieves the equivalent of 1,800 miles-per-gallon and prevents as much as six tons of polluting Co2 from entering the atmosphere each year, all why also carrying up to eight bags of groceries or 350-pounds of payload.