For times when a bike doesn’t have enough storage space but a car is overkill, consider the Lorax Motor Works Hauler, a recumbent tricycle tricked out with a solar panel that powers an onboard electric assist motor. The all-terrain trike can carry more than just groceries–it has a concrete tub that can hold over 300 pounds, and a 50-degree roll over angle in case of sharp turns.
The Hauler’s electric assist motor means that even riders in hilly cities like San Francisco can make it to their destinations with ease. And with a range of 20 miles on a full solar charge, (a cost of ten cents over a six hour charging time) the Hauler can claim a fuel efficiency rating of 900 mpg.
At a projected cost of $2,800, the Hauler could be a cheap alternative to the bumper crop of neighborhood electric vehicles (NEV) that have popped up recently. NEVs generally don’t travel above 25 mph, so their usefulness is limited to short trips around town anyway. And because of their low speeds, NEVs don’t have to comply with U.S. crash test regulations–meaning there is little safety justification for traveling in a NEV instead of a Hauler-like vehicle.
The Hauler will probably be most useful in rural areas of developing countries. Instead of upgrading to emissions-spewing vehicles, residents could perhaps be persuaded to purchase the low-cost Lorax vehicle instead.
Lorax Motor’s Hauler isn’t yet available for purchase, but you can get on the waiting list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org