At first glance, the Be.e scooter, invented by Dutch startup Van.eko, seems like a normal electric vehicle. It can go from 0-50 kph in seven seconds, has a 60-90km range, and its 2000-cycle battery can be fully charged using a standard 220V outlet in under four hours. Less common is a body made of hemp and flax fibers that have been impregnated with a biologically derived resin. Despite its unusual exterior, it’s safe to ride and robust enough to survive life in the city, all while maintaining plenty of environmental street cred.
This is a common technique for fabricating Formula 1 Supercars, but it’s new to small-scale commuter vehicles.
This unusual manufacturing material cuts the carbon footprint of the already green vehicle while helping eliminate some of the 50 odd parts that have to be snapped, welded, or screwed together in traditional scooters. “In a nutshell; There is a two-part shell, batteries, two wheels and some glue,” says Simon Akkaya, principal at Waarmakers, the design firm that developed the Be.e’s signature style. This structural approach is called monocoque, and the outer surface acts as the shell and supporting structure simultaneously. This is a common technique for fabricating Formula 1 Supercars, but it’s new to small-scale commuter vehicles. “It’s a design that proves that supporting structures in high-impact transportation products, commonly made from steel, can actually be replaced by sustainable natural fibers without losing strength or performance,” says Maarten Heijltjes, another Waarmakers employee. Aside from a few screws, bolts, and suspension fixtures, no metal parts had to be used for structural purposes.
– Read the entire article at Wired.