Sun-powered trike on Kent State University's campus is first in the state

KENT, Ohio - The greening of Kent State University’s campus this spring includes the state’s first “sun-powered trike.”

The ELF (electric, light, fun) pedal vehicle is owned by Paulette Washko, director of research compliance. It is one of about 400 manufactured by Organic Transit of Durham, N.C. It costs about $5,000.

The bright green “pod” is powered by pedals pushing its 26-inch tires. Uphill, the ELF hums as its solar-assisted 600-watt battery kicks in, according to a Kent State news release. It meets the federal standards for a bicycle.

Washko drives her ELF four miles from her Stow home to Kent State and locks it to a bike rack outside Cartwright Hall.

“You can’t be sad when you’re driving it,” Washko said in the release. You get to experience the outdoors with the convenience of not being exposed to the elements, and you get some exercise, all while commuting to work.”