So, the Organic Transit ELF is a vehicle that is marketed as a car-replacement, with room for one rider, optionally a seat for 1-2 passengers depending on size, and some cargo.
Its manufacturer calls it a velomobile, as it's legally a bicycle, but provides protection from the elements. That assertion is very controversial within the velomobile community, though, as most velomobiles lack electric assist, whereas this, at 160-200 lbs, *NEEDS* it.
And, its dimensions make it fit very poorly with bicycle infrastructure - 36" (914 mm) is wide for a recumbent tricycle, and very wide for a velomobile, but works on most infrastructure in the US. This thing is *48.25"* (1226 mm) wide.
I doubt that there's a bike lane or bike trail in the country where this thing truly fits.
IIRC, when this came up on a recumbent forum I'm on, I suggested that it be called a velocar, to distinguish it from velomobiles, as a nod to the original Mochet Vélocars.
So, in the past, I've suggested that something narrower, lower, and lighter - but not as hardcore as most current velomobiles - would be a good idea, to fit into cycling infrastructure, and be practical to ride without electric assistance, and be good with 250 W of assistance (the ELF uses a 750 W motor, the legal limit in the US).
I still think that.
However, I saw this photo, of a man standing next to a second-generation Subaru Sambar (known as the 360 Van in the US). That... inspired ideas.
Holy crap, that is a tiny van.
It seats four (probably five if you're putting kids in the back), has room for plenty of cargo, and does it in a footprint of 1295 mm (50.98") width, only 69 mm (2.73") wider than the ELF.
It's 1535 mm (60.43") tall - actually LOWER than the 61" (1549 mm) tall ELF.
It's 2995 mm (117.9") long, which is quite a bit longer than the ELF (at 106" (2692 mm) long), though. (But, many of the sportier velomobiles are closer in length to the Sambar than the ELF...)
Basically... at this point, I'm now wondering if taking the ELF concept even *FURTHER* might not be a bad idea.
Improve the packaging (partially by using smaller wheels, partially by pushing the front wheels back some, which improves cornering stability as well), use the freed up space for a second front seat, add a second drivetrain for the front passenger, improve the aerodynamics, improve cargo space, and protect the rear wheel by lengthening the body...
Could be something interesting.
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