Is it a bike? Is it a car? Or just loads of fun?

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Mar 10, 2015 00:15 IST

A hybrid conflating bicycles and cars. Pedal it when you feel up to it, or need exercise, and switch to its solar-powered motor when in need of speed.

Imagine a tricyle — like rickshaws, with the sing wheel in the back instead of in the front, covered in an egg-shaped shell — that’s The Elf for you, short for electric, light and fun.

It’s pedal speed is 20 miles (32 km) an hour, the motor takes it up to 35 (56 km).

It’s also good for a trip to the local grocery store. It can carry a load of 550 pounds (250 kg) — a passenger and/or some grocery.

“What we’re looking to do is take the bicycle experience and integrate it with car-like functions,” Rob Cotter, its creator and a former race care technician, told CBS News on Sunday.

He has sold 450 of these machines since launching 18 month ago, each costing $5,500.

Cotter told CBS that he plans to scale up production to mass level, targeting resorts, living facilities for seniors and developing countries as a cheaper alternative to automobiles.

“Most of the planet, they don’t have automobiles,” Cotter was quoted. “They don’t have cars. Some of them hardly have roads.”

Though not ready for US interstates, where average speeds are upwards of 55 miles per hour, CBS said the Elf has been seen in inner neighbourhood roads and university campuses.

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