If It Stops Working, Smoke It
Recently unveiled, Dutch start-up, Van.eko have spent the past few years developing an electric scooter with a 50kph top speed, and single charge 60km-90km range that brings a refreshing take on electric scooters, and could be hitting European streets soon.
In addition to the retro monocoque design echoing Piaggio’s finest, the nod to Piaggio goes further with the bike’s name “Be.e” echoing Piaggio’s own choice of the name Vespa, or “Wasp” while underscoring the ‘e’ of electric. In a world where most recent electric scooters have been – let’s just say – aesthetically challenge, the Be.e’s profile in addition to its handmade saddle and retro headlamp is certainly a welcome site for vintage scooter fans as the development of scooters continues to inch toward an inevitable electric future.
But good-looks and an eco-friendly power-train are just the start. The scooter brings two revolutionary concepts to the table.
First, the scooter won’t be sold to scooter resellers and then on to the public in the traditional sense, but leased directly from Van.eko to small resellers, empowering them to provide ecologically sound ride options to local commuters renting on a weekly or monthly basis. The intent is that by leasing, rather than reselling, these groups will be able to operate safely in the knowledge that if one of their rental scooter fleet ever breaks down, Van.eco will simply replace it. The designers are dubbing this concept of custodianship, “Be.e Keepers.”
Second, in a further step toward eco-friendlyness, the scooter’s body is made from hemp and flax fibers mixed with resin to form a tough shell that cuts out many unnecessary individual parts of a traditional manufacturing process and making its unveiling in Amsterdam, all the more appropriate.
Head on over to Wired.com for the original story and additional photographs of the unveiling or directly to Van.eko’s website for plenty more images on the bike’s unique manufacturing process. With the recent introduction of the Citi-Bike bike-sharing scheme to the streets of New York, we look forward to following this concept scooter closely.