The ELF is really fast! Now that I've been measuring using the iPhone Speedometer App, I've been able to gauge her performance. Yes, I'm convinced the ELF is female. It's pretty obvious, isn't it?
The last few rides I've really been impressed at the amount of power the motor has. This is especially evident when climbing steep hills. I was in a hurry on Thursday night so decided to try driving on 29 up the hill between Lockwood and Southwood. The ELF maintained a good 20 mph all the way up the hill. I remember trying the same hill on my bike and dragging along at about 6. This is why I always ride on the sidewalk on the bike.
Here are a few screen snapshots of the Speedometer. The first was on a flat surface just pedaling. Alright, I might have used the motor to get up to speed and it was probably a gradual down hill but this is about the right speed for just pedaling. It was also before I got my fancy new clipless pedals (see pictures below).
The question everyone always asks is "how fast does it go?" I found a nice flat road with a good smooth surface and let her rip. The ELF got up to 25 mph and stayed there. I'm pretty sure the governor is keeping it from going above that but the motor certainly could handle faster.
The fastest I've gone on the ELF is around 33 and this screen snapshot of 31 was while pedaling down the hill going north on Route 29 between Southwood and Lockwood. I'm pretty sure that on a longer and steeper hill she would go faster but so far this is my record.
The trip summary for my ride into the office indicates that the distance was 10.04 miles and the average speed was 12.5 mph. I was taking it pretty easy on this morning and not trying to break any speed records. The speedometer app stops measuring when you come to a stop so the average only includes the time and distance measurements while moving.
Per the request of one blog comment I've taken a series of pictures and videos of the ELF. The first one here shows my brand new Shimano clipless pedals. I took the ELF for a test drive with these last night and they really make a big difference in the amount of power I can generate from the pedals. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's commute!
Solar panel connection on the roof.
Yes, the brake light works!
Here's the magic power box hiding in the storage bay. You can see the green light glowing when the power is plugged in. Everyone on the ELF team at Organic Transit signed my ELF as a reward for participating in the Kickstarter campaign. Nice!
Here are a few shots from behind the battery looking forward. When I want to charge the battery in the sun I disconnect the gray power cable and leave the green and red charge cable connected. That way there is no draw on the battery from the electronics.
The throttle is that little thumb lever on the right hanging down from the handle just under the bell. The nuvinci hub CVT is controlled by turning the handle on the left with the (upside down) indicator of what part of the hill you're climbing or going down.
Here's a shot taken through the windshield looking down.
The Nuvinci hub has two cables and here you can see the parking brake lever locked in place.