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The LEF Is for Those Times When a Car Is Too Much and a Bike Not Enough
Urban mobility has changed a lot in recent times and, according to increasingly louder voices, it needs to change again. Our cities are becoming more crowded, more polluted, and more difficult to navigate.

The LEF Is for Those Times When a Car Is Too Much and a Bike Not Enough

The LEF proposes a middle way between car and bike for urban transport, with the advantages of bothThe LEF proposes a middle way between car and bike for urban transport, with the advantages of bothThe LEF proposes a middle way between car and bike for urban transport, with the advantages of bothThe LEF proposes a middle way between car and bike for urban transport, with the advantages of bothThe LEF proposes a middle way between car and bike for urban transport, with the advantages of bothThe LEF proposes a middle way between car and bike for urban transport, with the advantages of both
Passenger cars are no longer deemed viable transport solutions. Mass transit is a mess in most cities, with very few exceptions. Biking needs better infrastructure and cyclists better manners. Scooters, mopeds, and ride-sharing services do more damage than good.

Depending on who you believe, all of these are true, individually or at once. Put on a pair of pink-lens glasses, and you still see the reality that city life is more challenging because getting from point A to point B is stressful, time-consuming, occasionally expensive, and polluting. Change is needed.

One company from The Netherlands is looking to the past for inspiration for the future. Here is a quirky (or maybe just a silly-looking) electric vehicle that aims to bridge the gap between car and bicycle by offering a halfway solution with the benefits of both. This is LEF.

LEF is the product of local company EV Mobility and is the brainchild of Erik Vegt and Dave Goudeket. For the time being, LEF is road-legal only in The Netherlands, where it’s legally classified as a moped. It looks like a velomobile or an enclosed recumbent bicycle, but it’s actually fully electric, and you don’t have to pedal for propulsion.

LEF is a three-wheeler with an enclosed cabin made of recycled polyethylene, which boasts a bicycle's agility and the comfort of a car. That last part is, of course, relative. The idea is that it offers some protection from the elements, so you don’t get to work drenched or with dust in your eyes and mouth, and even some storage space in the back for personal belongings or groceries.

You can see the LEF in motion in the videos below. EV Mobility offers it with three battery packs, depending on the user’s needs: there’s a 10Ah battery for a 30 km range (18.6 miles), a 20Ah for double that, and a 30Ah battery for a maximum of 90 km (56 miles). If you’ve been keeping up with the latest in e-bikes, you’re probably amused to notice that the smallest pack is a good distance from what a medium-range bike offers.

LEF goes heavy on safety, with integrated LED lights at the front and rear and turn signals. If you want side mirrors, which you will definitely need if you’re going to take this thing on the street, you have to pay extra. Ditto for a windshield wiper, another necessity if it’s going to protect you from the elements and, you know, not get you killed in traffic.

Inside the cabin, you get a display with the stats and USB connection to charge your phone and retractable handlebars that offer easy access, as well as the possibility to find the driving position that best suits you. Power comes from a 1,000-watt motor in the rear wheels, which will take you to the maximum speed allowed here: 25 kph (15.5 mph). So much for getting to work on time in traffic: at least with a pedal-assist bike, you have the option to pedal faster after the motor cuts off.

Obvious advantages include the ability to charge from a home socket, a maximum payload of 200 kg (441 pounds), the aforementioned protection from the elements, and the fact that it can be operated without a driver’s license by anyone older than 16. EV Mobility offers this e-vehicle in a variety of colors, which probably counts for something for someone.

On the downside, LEF has three wheels, and, like other three-wheelers in history, stability is probably not its strongest suit. The limited speed means you’re best off in the bike lane than on the street, but then again, you’d be taking up too much space there. Traveling in a closed plastic bubble also means you’re going to stew in your own juices on hot summer days. It’s either that or travel with the canopy open.

Perhaps the biggest drawback to the LEF, after the fact that it’s available only locally, for the time being, is pricing. LEF starts at €4,380 ($5,210 at today’s exchange rate). For this kind of money, you get also get yourself a fancy e-bike or a decent second-hand car. It won’t be electric, but at least it will have AC.



Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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