Kickstarting A NuWay2Commute
By EV World Media
Ex-Navy Seal and Christian mission worker Jesse Stephenson wants us to commute a new way and it's called the e-Fox human hybrid velomobile.
What are the odds of two start-up offering human-hybrid velomobiles -- essentially enclosed recumbent tricycles -- would launch in the same year and in the same state?
Great minds think alike, perhaps?
Whatever the odds and reasons, the ELF has a significant head start, especially in terms of national media coverage this past summer when one was bought by a gentleman from Massachusetts who decided to drive (pedal?) his from the manufacturer in North Carolina. A lot of media outlets, including the New York Times picked up the story of his epic 1,200 trip, giving Organic Transit a huge boost in exposure.
Half a year behind is Jesse Stephenson - former Navy Seal and Christian mission worker - with his own prototype velomobile called the e-Fox, which is very similar in concept and based on a tadpole-style recumbent tricycle. Located in Wilmington, N.C., the husband and wife team also hope to use Kickstarter to fund the production of their human-hybrid vehicle.
Classified as a bicycle, it enjoys many of the benefits associated with its more conventional cousin. You don't have to license it, it can operate on bike lanes, and apart from the modest amount of electric power used to charge its battery, it costs next to nothing to run.
Of course it also has its limits: you can't use the electric motor for speeds over 20 mph, but still, for a lot of towns and cities, that is plenty fast. Jesse developed it partly out of his desire to have something to get his surfboard to the beach, a well as allow his wife, Candy, to not only commute to work but to also do the shopping. He included space behind the seat for groceries.
At this point in their venture, they have just the one prototype, which friends helped him develop and assemble. He hopes that his Kickstarter campaign will give him the funds to launch limited production and get it into the hands of more people, maybe even someone from Florida who'd like to ride it south, down the coast, instead of north.
Originally published: 01 Nov 2013
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