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SELFeMobil Safari by SolMobil (pictured above).
found yourself interested in solar powered e-trikes
such as the Better Bike PEBL
or the Organic Transit ELF?
Well, so have we.
One of our customers with her ELF in Chapel Hill, NC. Photo credit @solmobil
There's only one problem:
Nobody makes them anymore!
Though these aforementioned companies both technically still exist, and we really hope to see their new vehicle one day, they haven't been available for a while! No ELFs have been available since 2018, and as far as we know, production of the PEBL has been paused for 2-3 years now.
Again, we're not exactly trying to replace the competition. We want to see them both back on the road! What we're saying is that practically, in the meantime, there was one group of people who just couldn't wait: the existing customers! Over the last 5 years, we have had all types of repair and parts requests come in. We've helped fix everything from a simple burned out headlight, to an ELF that had holes in the body from falling icicles! We've worked on ELFs that were written off by Lamborghini techs as 'unfixable,' and helped multiple people fix their ELFs that hadn't otherwise seen it drive in years! For a while, we did our best to help in all these circumstances and many more.
But no more! We found that, while we aren't always able to take on a physical repair job (due to space, time & logistical considerations), that we are uniquely well suited to providing the replacement parts and tech know-how that you may need in order to fix, build, or repair your bike yourSELF. Whether that be an ELF, or a PEBL, or a weird home built thing that you're working on. We get it. We're weird like you.
Get it yet?
The SELFeMobil, a brand new solar e-trike for your e-cycling pleasure, isn't that at all. It's nothing more than a new technological framework that allows any person to take an active role in designing and building your own EV yourSELF. Not only in the assembly and repair of the bike, that isn't new. Ok that is totally new to the velomobile world -- just old news to the rest of the cycling industry! Since the whole bike is built using Grid Beam, you can choose where your design diverges from ours, while at the same time, knowing the strength of the frame will be maintained using Tri-joints and all stainless hardware.
We worked with enough ELF owners, PEBL people, and ebike enthusiasts over time to learn at least one simple truth about these things: that all e-bikes end up becoming a unique expression of the rider. Not just with custom e-bikes, like most of the ones we sell. But with all e-bikes, and especially with these upright velomobiles! Most people end up giving their ELF a name, custom features and accents, easily investing as much time and energy into it as if they had a lifted pickup truck or hobby track car! Some people own these kinds of bikes as their only vehicle, so it becomes even more important to source repair parts in an efficient way.
So, instead of accepting the limited market need for simple repair parts, we designed an entire new parts system instead. One that can definitely help you fix your e-thing. Sure. But that also stands on its own. So if you happen to want to build an entire new EV from scratch, in your house, we could probably help with that too. One piece at a time, of course ;).
We designed the SELFeMobil in 3 sections to make things as simple as possible:
1. Frame and mechanical parts
2. Electric parts
3. Body panels
Electric parts are available now. Frame kits should be available in ~2025, with the body panels being made available along with the entire SELFeMobil vehicle some time in 2026. Full introduction below:
A solar powered trike
that you can build ... yourself!
We took what was formerly a cryptic, unintelligible design language,
bellowing straight from Gamehenge,
then painstakingly translated it
into useful stick figures
which then, after being translated again and again, by generations of student interns from App State,
has become designs for the SELFeMobil V1:
But we didn't stop there.
We will even give you some of our design drawings, plus all the info you will need in order to build it, at no additional charge.
So you can built it yourSELFe! Of course.
The initial kit, the SELFeMobil V1, will be made available for sale in 3 different sections. You will be able to choose which parts you get from here, and which parts you may want to try making yourself.
Maybe you don't plan to make any parts at all, so you stick with buying the whole kit online (the easiest option). In that case, we intend for the project to be doable by anyone who has gone to IKEA before. If you can build a spaceship out of Legos, redo a bathroom, or do an oil change, then you will probably be able to build a SELFeMobil without any major problems (though you are in danger of finally learning what a torque wrench does, and other helpful, miscellaneous bike building info that you will need later in order to maintain the bike indefinitely). There will also be options to buy them fully assembled, of course, through a small but growing dealer network all across North America and more.
Or maybe you're stuck in the middle of the jungle with nothing but an industrial junk pile and some free time - well, then, we double dog dare you to get started, my friend. We won't be mad that you're copying us --- quite the opposite, in fact. We'd just be really happy that you even want to try. Get as far as you can using the freely available design drawings we have made available here. Then improvise using what's actually available. Then, after that, tell us what you are still missing. At that point, it'll be much cheaper & easier to ship you just a few parts than it would have been to order the whole thing.
To see official company updates about the project, please make sure to sign up for the email newsletter here.
If you want to participate in the development of the SELFeMobil V1 by joining one of the upcoming focus groups, then please send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are full for 2024, but still have openings for 2025.
To chat with other people who are patiently awaiting this new generation of democratized, self-built solar powered transportation, and to input your own wants, needs, and design ideas, then you are encouraged to join our non-toxic facebook page by clicking here.
Thank you for your interest in the SELFeMobil. We hope to have this entire product family available for sale at some point in ~2025 or 2026. All good things take time. This is a collaborative effort to design a new generation of democratized, self built vehicles based on the timeless principles of the Appropriate Technology movement. What we, in America, largely see as a 'nifty convenience,' many others in the world would see as 'life-changing personal transportation & distributed solar power.'
We are currently working with designers, builders, and fans of this project all over North America and Europe. Once ready, we very much intend on making this system available everywhere, enabling SELFe builders all over the world to bootstrap their situation using nothing but an internet connection, and that all-important x factor - curiosity. Anyone who really wants to build a SELFeMobil bad enough should be able to do so, whether they have millions of dollars, or no dollars at all.
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