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Bio-scooter: new sustainable transport

A team of designers, producers and institutions has launched a scooter made using a biobased composite. The consortium has named it the Be.e, which it calls the world’s most sustainable scooter. The development is a possible breakthrough in the transportation sector, which is notorious for being energy and resource heavy.

The scooter is distinguished by a single shape body, or monocoque, which is made from biocomposite material. In this case, that means a combination of flax and bio-resins. This is no symbolic gesture. A first advantage is that the monocoque replaces a traditional metal body, which would consist of over 100 metal parts and multiple plastic elements.

The redesign, by Waarmakers Ontwerpers, has improved the technological design of the scooter, making it light-weight but also sturdy. This demonstrates another advantage: a relatively heavy-duty usage of nabasco (natural based) biocomposites, which are provided by NPSP, the company that recently manufactured this biobased façade.

Besides the natural based fibres and resins used in the body, biomass also provides the electricity for the scooter. Due to its redesign and material use, the Be.e is an efficient mode of transport. The design office Waarmakers was tasked with producing a sustainable, simple design that allowed for comfortable, roomy seating and a single-shell volume, both of which are made easier by using the efficient monocoque design.

The scooter will be made available through an innovative business plan. Van.Eko, a local start-up, intends to market the Be.e as a part of the circular economy. Rather than buy the physical transportation, the user will buy a subscription to a number of kilometres, and will be able to use them in pretty much the same way as we use the minutes for our cell-phone plans. The scooter itself will remain property of Van.Eko. At the end of its operational lifetime, the scooter’s materials will be reused in other projects.

The idea is to provide a sustainable, efficient and fun mode of urban transport for users throughout Europe. The consortium, led by the composites lab of the Hogeschool Inholland and funded by RAAK/SIA, is currently putting the final touches on the design and if the images we’ve seen are anything to go by, it looks like the Be.e could be a great success.


Images via Van.Eko, from the design partner Waarmakers.