This sweet little electric scooter hits 30mph in seven seconds, has an 80km range and is made from… hemp? Its sleek, modern looks belie the fact that this two-wheeled runaround is made from the hippiest of materials: hemp and flax fibres, bound together with a biologically derived resin.
But despite the natural materials, it’s perfectly strong enough to survive the city — and wins environmentally friendly brownie points too.
Developed by Dutch startup Van.eko, the bike uses a monocoque design: a two-part outer shell provides the entire supporting structure, simultaneously housing the drivetrain and letting the rest of the bike hang off it. The result is lightweight, nippy and nimble — which is why similar technology is used in Formula 1 cars.
Interestingly, the retro-style scooters won’t be sold but rented on a weekly or monthly basis. The idea is that each customer will become their own little scooter renting business, allowing other people to use the vehicle — a way of spreading the word about the scooters, and also a great way of ensuring that users always have a vehicle in top working order. Initially available in Europe at this early stage, the scooter costs from arounds $180 a month. Let’s hope it crosses the ocean soon. [Van.eko via WIRED]