Our pals over at the excellent Wend Magazine thought our readers might be intrigued by a new company they found. I reckon they're right. For they've unearthed the delightfully named Lorax Motor Works, a start-up who are providing purpose built electric vehicles, and customized conversions of existing internal combustion vehicles. One of their early incarnations is The Hauler: an all-terrain, mountain-bike style recumbent tricycle, which sports its own solar panel powering an onboard motor that provides electric assist riding.
See Lorax Motors blog for evidence of the 32 kph (20 mph) Hauler's capacity to haul -- a 136+ kg (300+ lb) concrete tub, plus the safety of a 50 degree rollover angle. Read the Wend article to discover that the Hauler has a range of 32 km (20 miles) on full solar charge. This costs a mere 10 cents, over 6 hours and renders the vehicle a 'fuel' efficiency of around 900 miles per gallon.
According to Wend, Aaron Blake, Chief Technical Officer for Lorax Motor Works, believes that,
"At some point it will become economically impossible to step backward into the internal combustion engine."
But until that pivotal moment, the big gorilla in the room is new demand for cars from developing nations. As Wend writes: "By putting cheaper, human-electric hybrids in the hands of the developing world, [Lorax Motor Works] hope to slip in before these places became hooked on cars. With lifestyles changing in places like China and India, their solar-and-leg-powered Hauler seemed like the perfect fit for moving loads around rural Asia."
As well exploring this burgeoning car market the guys from the company went on a land-based zero emissions ski holiday in Japan, with their Haulers hefting all their gear around the country. Plus it looks like they've plans to see Haulers for about $2,800 USD
Dr Seuss not only penned the incredibly insightful treatise on consumption, The Lorax, but if we take a few liberties, we might suggest he had just this sort of vehicle in mind when he wrote his last book, 'Oh, The Places You'll Go':
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.
::Lorax Motor Works, with initial lead from Wend magazine
Photos: Wend magazine and Lorax
More Wend magazine:
• Wend Magazine: Paperless People-Powered Adventure
• Save $1,400 a Year By Drinking Tap Water
• Alastair Heseltine's Sculptures Capture the Nature in Materials
• Will Wave Farms Attract Sharks - Wend Magazine Investigates
More Trikes and Bikes
• Tricycle Round-up
17 Examples of Pedal Power and Propulsion
• 21 Small Wheel Bikes - The Zippy Revolution
• 16 Crazy Bikes
• How Fast Can a Bicycle Go? 8 Videos Bring Us to Speed
• Buy Green: Large Wheel Folding Bikes
• BuyGreen: Small Wheel Folding Bikes
• 10 Wild 'N Crazy Bike Designs (Slideshow)