Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to the FAQ page. We are now in full production, after a successful KickStarter release. The most commonly asked questions are answered below.
Frequently asked questions
Have questions about the ELF and Organic Transit? If you don’t find your answer, ask us at Sales@solarelf.com
We’ve been busy in the ELF workshop, behind Santa’s back! Coming soon…super fat rear tire, optional doors, rear jump seat, hemp seat covers, wireless front/rear camera, Bluetooth speaker system, automatic shifting, full hydraulic brakes, integrated navigation/charge state app. We’d tell you more, but we like to keep a few surprises to ourselves…we’re funny that way.
We have shipped vehicles to Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, but it’s not simple. Our plans are to build ELFs in all regions where they’re being sold.
We have designed a vehicle that is classified as a bicycle under the federal guidelines listed in 15 U.S.C. 2085(b) which state that the vehicle must have a 750W or smaller motor, and have a top speed of 20 mph on electric power only when driven by a 170 pound rider on flat ground.Now, some states and municipalities have created their own rules and regulations that govern electric assisted bikes and other e-vehicles that exceed the federal guidelines. As a manufacturer selling products across state lines, we obey the feds. It is up to you to read up on your own local regulations and determine if the ELF is likely to attract the wrong kind of attention on the streets in your town. Wikipedia provides a handy starting point: Electric bicycle laws.
Not happy with the laws in your neck of the woods? Then advocate to revise them! Remember, regulations are not set in stone, but it takes effort to make a change. The world will be a much safer, greener, place if more bikes and vehicles like ours fill the transportation space. To find a bike advocacy group in your area that can help make your voice heard, check out this list: US bicycle advocacy groups.
The ELF is designed to shed rain water so at low speeds, windshield wipers in most cases aren’t really necessary. There may be optional wipers in the future.
Yes! Please contact us regarding financing options.
According to federal guidelines, the top allowable speed using the electric motor only is 20 mph on a flat surface. ELF owners can travel faster by pedaling, some can get more than 25 mph. The ELF is designed for use under 30 mph.
The ELF features a rear cargo area that can be accessed from inside or through the hatchback. Inside the hatchback is a rear cargo deck, a locking trunk, a glove box and two extra large cargo buckets. These are water tight, durable and removable. You can carry groceries, laundry, a party’s worth of ice or a load of live bait fish. A total of more than a dozen bags of groceries can be carried just in the back. There is also an optional front cargo deck and bamboo storage shelves that can increase capacity. Many ELF owners design their own methods of carrying specific cargo.
The ELF can be secured with a chain or u-lock attached to the wheel and frame in a number of locations. The motor requires a key that can be removed when the vehicle is parked. We also have a custom ELF security wrap designed by a company that makes light aircraft covers. The protective wrap secures under the ELF, can be locked to the rear wheel, and features a clear pane that allows the solar panel to function properly with the cover in place.
An ELF can be used just like any other bike or trike that only needs the strength in your legs to make it go. What makes it more fun and useful, however, is the electric motor that gives you a boost of power whenever you need or want it. All it takes is a simple twist of the throttle to zip up a hill or make a week’s worth of groceries in the back feel as light as a bag of takeout. You can maximize your calorie burn by just using the pedals, stay cool and comfortable by letting the motor do all the work, or any combination of the two. It’s up to you!
The ELF is designed for extreme efficiency. Regenerative braking is not needed on this generation of vehicles. If the ELF weighed more and required a larger battery pack, regenerative braking would be more beneficial. We are working on a regenerative system for the future but for now, ELF owners will be happy to know they’re riding the most efficient vehicle commercially available.
The basic 11Ah battery pack can recharge in as quickly as 2.2 hours with regular household current.The standard 100w solar panel on the roof acts as a trickle charger when the vehicle is parked outside, with recharge time of as little as 7 hours dependent on available sun.
With the basic battery pack, tests have shown a 170 lb. rider with light hills, modest sunlight, traveling at 15 mph can travel 16 miles with NO PEDALING at 75 degrees Fahrenheit. With pedaling some ELF riders have gone 30 miles. Additional battery packs will increase the range.
Yes. Some customers have quadrupled the basic battery pack.
Sure thing! Studded tires are a great option . The vehicles uses standard 26″ and 24″ tires. The front fenders can accommodate up to a 2″ wide tire and the rear comes with a 2.5″ tire.
The ELF is shipped fully assembled. Each ELF goes through an extensive Quality Assurance process ridden for miles and returned for analysis and readjusted accordingly.
A competent bike mechanic should have the skills necessary to accomplish most repairs. A mechanic with e-bike experience should be very capable. We are building a network of bicycle mechanics that are qualified to work on the ELF. If you are handy and experienced with tools, much of the maintenance can be done at home. We will soon be posting videos to assist with common repairs.
The ELF can be used anywhere it is legal and safe to ride a bicycle: bike paths, bike lanes, roads with a decent shoulder, and roads with slower moving traffic.
According to US Federal standards, the ELF is legally classified as bicycle and is subject to the same laws and regulations. We are not aware of any current laws that require licenses for cyclists, but some states do have age restrictions for electric assisted bikes. A handful of states classify the ELF as a moped and consequently do have licensing requirements for riders. ELF riders are ultimately responsible for researching and obeying the laws in their own locales.
There is no federal legal age requirement, but some states and municipalities do have minimum age requirements for electric assisted bikes. Riders are ultimately responsible for researching and obeying the laws in their own locales. We recommend that you be tall enough to reach the pedals, strong enough to maintain control of the vehicle, and mature enough to operate it safely and responsibly.In some areas, bicycle helmets may be required for riders under a certain age.
The ELF is designed to handle hills. The controller is programmed for high torque and the motor is geared low to maximize climbing ability. Fitness of the rider is also a factor. We’ve climbed numerous hills in San Francisco faster than we would with a conventional bicycle and with enough reserve to do it multiple times. The pedal gearing can be optimized by using a larger or smaller rear cog on the right side of the rear hub. Any competant bike shop can do this easily for you.
The ELF weighs about 150 lbs. depending on how it is outfitted.
The ELF can carry a payload of 350 lbs. This includes the rider.
All of the wheels are relatively standard bicycle tires. The front wheel does not even need to be removed to repair a flat! The rear wheel is a bolted on, has an internal hub with an extra chain, so no derailleur to mess with. It does have a heavy duty tire and tube to minimize the risk of punctures.
The current seat configuration can be adjusted to accommodate riders between 5’2″ and 6’6″. Additional customization may be required to accommodate those shorter or taller, but it’s not impossible.
With the rear wheel and fender in place, the ELF is 105″ long x 48″ wide x 5′ tall. You can get a good idea of how it compares to other vehicles by watching the videos. The ELF can comfortably fit in many bike lanes.
The ELF is currently available in white, mango, or wasabi green. The ELF is well suited to customization with vinyl decals. New colors coming soon. Just let us know what your favorite color would be….
The open design of the ELF helps preserve the sense of joy and freedom that is inherent in riding a bike while still offering a good deal of protection from the elements. We have ridden around in the rain and stayed quite dry. The open doors also provide an aerodynamic advantage regarding side winds. Great visibility, too!Nevertheless, we do plan to make doors available as accessories for riders in more inclement weather.
The ELF does not currently have a floor, nor is it necessary to keep the rider dry thanks to the fenders and shell.
Sound systems, phone docks, mp3 player docks, etc. will all be optional accessories.
Yes! We are partnering with Sky Highways to create an app for the ELF that will help find bike routes, calculate mileage, track battery power, and more.
We currently do not offer a child carrier seat. Some owners and bike shops have made simple modifications to carry child seats.
We have plans to make a trailer hitch available, but this feature will not be available on the initial run of vehicles. We are leaving the tail a little longer to allow users to attache their own hitches.
OX specific questions
The OX is in the design and production phase. Stay tuned… Sign up for our Newsletter at Contact@organictransit.com
The OX is designed to be a utility vehicle suitable for light delivery and other urban applications. It is capable of carrying 500-800 pounds of cargo depending on the configuration of drive train and battery.
We are working hard on the OX prototype, and hope to have it in production soon.