These Solar Golf Karts With Pedals Are Aiming To Replace the Car, and Greece Is Doing It

Ilos 6 photos
Photo: Gloubos E-Bikes
The face of urban mobility has been shifting these past few years, and as a result, we're starting to see machines that blur the lines between one vehicle and another. That is precisely the case with the Ilos cargo e-bike.
Folks, take a nice long look at the images in the gallery and witness what some consider the future of urban mobility. It's called the Ilos, and the fact of the matter is that we're not looking at some electric car or even golf kart, but rather an e-bike with four wheels and the ability to handle cargo you wouldn't dream of tossing on a bicycle.

Now, Gloubos, the manufacturer behind this project, doesn't offer a whole lot of information on the Ilos, but it's more than enough to understand where things are headed. But who is Gloubos? Well, if the name sounds new, it's because it most certainly is, having been registered with Greece's Chamber of Commerce in July 2023.

Photo: Gloubos E-Bikes
As for the Ilos, Gloubos is calling it "smart transport for smart cities." The fact that it's all happening in Greece, a country where countless EV manufacturers have tested the waters, including VW—they basically bought out an entire island and its citizens and gave them EVs to use—means that we could very well see this puppy in more cities around the globe, assuming that all goes according to plan. But what is that plan?

Well, this isn't Gloubos' first rodeo; their Orion vehicle is a precursor to the Ilos and just as nifty. The catch was that the Orion had less cargo space and a slightly more sleek design, but it's still a golf kart with pedals. It's rocking a mid-mounted motor with 250 W, a range of up to 100 km (62 mi), and the ability to even suck power from the sun and use it to recharge. This thing even got Gloubos the Greek Green Award for Innovation. All brings us to the next stage in this company's evolution, the Ilos.

Just like the Orion, Ilos is a four-wheeling e-bike with a 250 W mid-mounted motor, but the real attractive feature is once again the ability to also draw power from the sun and run on it. While the base model includes two battery packs, once solar panels are added to the mix, the base 50 km range doubles to 100 km, just as it does in the Orion. Did I mention that these babies max out at 25 kph (15.5 mph)? It's clearly a bummer for those of us who use cars for their speed.

Photo: Gloubos E-Bikes
At its base, the Ilos is constructed around a frame that has absolutely nothing bicycle about it. The only reason this thing classifies as an e-bike is because of the presence of pedals and that speed cap of 25 kph. So if you put a Ferrari body onto a garage-built frame with pedals, you've got yourself an e-bike... just a little loophole in international legislation and a reason why some downright "electric motorcycles" are considered nothing more than e-bikes, even though they can reach top speeds well beyond 28 mph (Class 3).

With that frame, Gloubos then goes to work creating a covered cabin for the operator and at the rear, that cargo bay. According to the manufacturer's website, the maximum load for this puppy is 180 kg (397 lbs), rider included, so you can haul some rather sizeable cargo with this thing, even take a buddy along for a ride. That's quite a bit and a reason why this bugger stands a solid chance in replacing some cars in an array of cities and communities.

The question is, why would I want to buy an Ilos and not any other cargo e-bike quad-o-mobile thing from China or any of the other nations producing these things like hotcakes? Well, I don't see any reasons whatsoever why Ilos would be the next ground-breaking mobility device to sweep the world, all except one, experience.

Photo: Gloubos E-Bikes
As mentioned, this isn't Gloubos' first rodeo and their initial concept did receive some very honorable mentions. That said, we can expect the Ilos to be even better, right? Maybe; I've added two videos below that showcase both the Ilos and Orion in action.

What do I see? Nothing but a pair of electric golf karts with pedals and the possibility of some solar panels, nothing new, really. Oh, and if I may, the fact that these 175 kg machines are categorized as e-bikes means people are just going to be riding wherever the heck they want, even being driven on sidewalks and pedestrian crossings.

That's clearly not safe and a reason why countries around the world are now passing legislation to limit use of even devices like electric kick scooters. I'm not making this stuff up; it's all in the videos below. Feel free to comment on whether or not the Ilos is a step in the right direction or if we're just treading water in place.

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Editor's note: Images in the gallery showcase the Ilos and Orion.

About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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