Company looks to expand market for pedal-powered vehicle

by: COURTESY OF ORGANIC TRANSIT - The 150-pound ELF fits on bike paths, sidewalks and roadways and can go up to 20 miles per hour.If all goes as planned, there could be a whole bunch of “ELFs” running around on the roads in East County.

Organic Transit, a North Carolina-based company, is looking for office and warehouse space in the Portland region to manufacture and market its latest invention — the ELF — what it deems “the most efficient vehicle on the planet.”

Legally a bike, the three-wheeled ELF (short for Electric, Light and Fun), is powered by pedaling, a solar-paneled roof, electric motor and rechargeable battery pack.

Capable of 1,800 miles to the gallon, it’s designer built the bike-car hybrid, so commuters could get to work in the morning on solar power and home by pedaling, while being kept safe from bad weather.

Interested in giving the ELF a whirl?

This Saturday, Jan. 25, from 10:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. at McMenamins Edgefield campus, anyone who wants to test driving the ELF can do so in the parking lot west of Edgefield’s Power Station.

Participants must first register by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and write “Portland” in the subject line to schedule a ride time.

The event is supported by the city of Wood Village, West Columbia Gorge Chamber of Commerce and local company, KCR Manufacturing, all entities interested in bringing ELF production to the area.

Karen Schaaf, board member of the West Columbia Gorge Chamber of Commerce, said if Organic Transit decides to set up shop locally, “It would bring jobs and opportunity for local manufacturers who’d benefit as component suppliers.”

One of those manufacturers is KCR, a Wood Village company specializing in the national and worldwide design and manufacture of wildland firefighting equipment.

Chris Holden, owner of KCR Manufacturing, is hoping to take on manufacturing ELF parts as well.

Holden said partnering with Organic Transit has already sold a few hundred Elfs and considers bike-friendly Portland a “key” market.

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