Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Organic Transit
Durham, NC

Congratulations to Winter 2015
People & Planet Award winner Organic Transit!

Organic Transit designs, builds, and distributes the ELF, a zero-emission, solar-pedal vehicle.  With a fuel economy equivalent of 1800 MPG, it is, in fact, the cleanest, most efficient vehicle on the planet. The ELF is designed for commuting, delivery, municipalities, campuses, and the mobility challenged.  

Since starting production in 2013, Organic Transit has delivered more than 450 ELFs in nine countries. It has a payload capacity of 550 lbs. and a range of up to 100 miles.  When replacing a car, an ELF can avoid as much as 6 tons of CO2 emissions. This is the equivalent of planting 900 trees each year. Whenever possible, an ELF is made from upcycled, recycled, and recyclable parts. 

Currently, Organic Transit vehicles are made in the USA. But our strategy is to decentralize manufacturing in an ultra-lean but scalable process that creates jobs in the Green Economy in the same regions where the vehicles are  sold.

The intent of Organic Transit, however, includes more than promoting environmental sustainability. The company aims to enable social mobility and restorative health on a large scale. Not only does the ELF offer safety, visibility in traffic, and weather protection that a bicycle cannot, its three-wheeled construction brings added stability, which has been absolutely liberating for some people. These include older, less agile individuals; people with disabilities that put owning a driver’s license out of reach; and others in physical therapy from injuries or even on exercise regimens for heart conditions.

In order to expand ELF usage, an ELFShare will make the vehicles available on an hourly basis, allowing quick deliveries and chores to be accomplished on an as-needed basis. This will free up parking spaces and lower costs for local businesses.

In developing nations, it can be an all-day affair to fetch a few gallons of drinkable water. With an ELF, villagers can retrieve 55 gallons in a short time; and once back in the village, the ELF’s solar and pedal power can double as a micro-utility station powering radios, lights, water purifiers, and more.

We would use the award from Green America to find new ways to adapt the ELF so that we can increase access for a wider population of people with disabilities.

Pursuant of our outreach to underserved communities, Organic Transit has created the “100th ELF” program. With every 100 ELFs sold, we donate an ELF to a community need or non-profit organization.

ELF