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Hedonic Sustainability via Effective Minimalism

Updated: Feb 5

A bit naïve, but a funny way to reduce the eco-footprint of a GDP-based economy by 14% is offered in the clip sequence "to do something, do nothing" one day a week. On a more serious note, the right question is: Does eco-sustainability involve austerity or a compromise in the quality of personal life?

It looks like you must ration your material consumption to a bare necessity.

Does the bare necessity necessary mean austerity that is deprivation?

No, it doesn't if the material bare necessity of a product or service is achieved by serving its purpose for civilization.

Let's examine the last premise from the essential personal mobility perspective...


The leaner a vehicle, the more it is both sustainable and effective. The "lean" means a vehicle is small and lightweight. That, in turn, means less energy spent on mining raw materials, on material processing, on the vehicle use per person-km, on maintenance of the vehicle and transport infrastructure for it, and on the vehicle's eventual disposal.

One thing is as sure as thermodynamics: The less energy consumed during a vehicle’s life cycle, the less overall damage to our planet is.


How in the world can the micro-car FELA be more effective than a conventional car?

Weighing grossly 120kg, FELA presses on the ground with only 40kg per wheel, and all three wheels are MTB size.

The FELA all-wheel-drive enables crawling over 6-8” obstacles, whether a road curb or an off-road rock. Ordinary fit FELA pilots (capable of 25-30kg leg pushes) can even climb the standard stairs.

Such mobility is higher than that of most SUVs that are off-roaders only in ads. If you get into an exceptionally unrideable rough patch, you can drag or porter the 40kg FELA over it like a barrow or a canoe. Contrary, when driving an SUV, you get stranded on a rough patch; without a tow truck, you are screwed.

With easily deployable rigs, lightweight FELA can cross deep water or fresh snow banks – an unimaginable feat for any ATV.

This virtually absolute FELA mobility is superior to any surface vehicle. Of course, it is the key if the FELA super-mobility means effectiveness from compactness and portability, i.e., minimal material use.


Three feet narrow, FELA with rated power assist less than 500-750W can be regulated or legalized as a bike to use bike paths - the factor that immensely increases FELA's permeability in a city.

Additionally, FELA can halve travel time by being agile and cruising as a car but filtering slow traffic and splitting lanes at intersections like a scooter.

What is this, if not the commuting performance or effectiveness, and again due to FELA minimalism in size and weight?


Put upright, FELA’s floor footprint is of a bike, i.e. 1.0 x 1.2 m.

Compact FELA can turn around within two lanes or by lifting FELA's 15kg tail, pilot can pivot it on a spot if not to use FELA electric reverse.

No car can beat such maneuverability, which, combined with no parking or storage problems, brings us to another type of effectiveness.

Small weight and size mean low loads on mechanisms that can be designed simpler and more reliably to the degree of being service-free.

It's the effective minimalism that brings about this super-practicality.


Ok, FELA’s minimalism in size and weight can be both sustainable and effective. Checked! What about the hedonic part, how being enclosed and pedaling your a** off in a tight cabin can be possibly pleasant, not to mention exciting?

If you don’t understand the thrill of beating cars in green-signal start with your muscles’ burst amplified by e-motor and being the first on the next intersection, or from looking down on a bumpy climb for the downhill “crazy ride” (yet much safer than on MTB), you are seriously unfit emotionally and physically, you haven't use your neuromuscular faculties for dangerously long time, and you have to get back to a rigorous regimen of strength and endurance workouts.

Nothing more than anything else, the "don't use - lose" maxim applies to our body and mind. Opposed to a car that causes hedonic adaptation, i.e., after a while, you want a newer, fancier one, FELA makes you stronger, connected to self and Nature, and you swap modules to ones that more suit your ever-growing fitness and needs.

This emotional durability of FELA is the essence of fighting the...

I would happily read your objections in the comments form.

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