Automotive

Be.e bio-based electric scooter takes crowdfunding path

Be.e bio-based electric scoote...
The Van.Eko Be.e has a natural fiber composite monocoque
The Van.Eko Be.e has a natural fiber composite monocoque
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The Van.Eko Be.e has a natural fiber composite monocoque
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The Van.Eko Be.e has a natural fiber composite monocoque
The Van.Eko Be.e weighs just over 200 lbs
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The Van.Eko Be.e weighs just over 200 lbs
The Be.e offers under-seat helmet storage
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The Be.e offers under-seat helmet storage
The Be.e is up on Kickstarter, with a variety of pledge levels/rewards offered
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The Be.e is up on Kickstarter, with a variety of pledge levels/rewards offered
The Van.Eko Be.e
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The Van.Eko Be.e
Diagram of Be.e components
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Diagram of Be.e components
Van.Eko worked with several other parties, including Waarmakers and NPSP
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Van.Eko worked with several other parties, including Waarmakers and NPSP
Van.Eko offers two battery options for up to nearly 100 miles (160 km) of range
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Van.Eko offers two battery options for up to nearly 100 miles (160 km) of range
Van.Eko imagines the Be.e scooters being used in a vehicle-sharing program in the future
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Van.Eko imagines the Be.e scooters being used in a vehicle-sharing program in the future
The Be.e is powered by a 4-kW electric motor
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The Be.e is powered by a 4-kW electric motor
2009 proof of concept
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2009 proof of concept
Be.e molds and frames
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Be.e molds and frames
The Be.e rolls on ContiTwist tires
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The Be.e rolls on ContiTwist tires
Van.Eko estimates a charging time around 4.5 hours
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Van.Eko estimates a charging time around 4.5 hours
Van.Eko estimates a retail base price of €5,500 but is offering it for early bird Kickstarter pricing
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Van.Eko estimates a retail base price of €5,500 but is offering it for early bird Kickstarter pricing
A peek at the natural fiber composite below
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A peek at the natural fiber composite below
The Be.e has a top speed around 36 mph (58 km/h)
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The Be.e has a top speed around 36 mph (58 km/h)
If its Kickstarter is successful, Van.Eko hopes to get the first Be.e scooters out next year
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If its Kickstarter is successful, Van.Eko hopes to get the first Be.e scooters out next year
The Be.e's secret is in its bio resin-infused hemp-flax construction
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The Be.e's secret is in its bio resin-infused hemp-flax construction

Plenty of scooter manufacturers make claims about helping out the environment with zero-emissions electric powertrains. The Be.e, which is live on Kickstarter this month, packs some extra green credentials in its back pocket, combining electric power with a bio-based monocoque frame.

We're quite used to seeing the term "composite monocoque" here at Gizmag, but usually it's a carbon fiber chassis made for a race or sports car. The natural composite structure of the Be.e scooter, the first product from Dutch firm Van.Eko, was a bit of a change in formula when we covered it last year. Since then, we've come to learn that the scooter's monocoque is actually a mix of 90 percent non-woven hemp fiber and 10 percent woven flax fiber infused with a bio-based resin. Van.Eko says the design makes the scooter light, stiff, durable and easy to handle.

The Be.e's secret is in its bio resin-infused hemp-flax construction
The Be.e's secret is in its bio resin-infused hemp-flax construction

The Be.e's features and specs have remained much the same as they were last July, though Van.Eko is offering both 2.5-kWh and 5-kWh battery options for between 55 and 160 km (34 and 99 mi) of range, depending upon factors like speed and driving conditions. The battery sends its power to a 4-kW electric rear hub motor that pushes the 209 lb (95 kg) two-person scooter to speeds up to around 36 mph (58 km/h).

Beyond the zero emissions powertrain and bio-based construction, Van.Eko has one more bone to throw the eco-friendly crowd. It envisions employing Be.e scooters in an urban sharing program in its home country. The idea is for so-called "Be.eKeepers" to rent a scooter for a monthly fee of around €250 (US$340). They will then be able to offer the scooter for hourly rental to "WannaBe.es" who can use it for things like traveling around the city for the afternoon.

Van.Eko estimates a charging time around 4.5 hours
Van.Eko estimates a charging time around 4.5 hours

Van.Eko's Kickstarter campaign reflects the mixed use it envisions for the Be.e. Not only can crowd funders put down €4,500 to €5,700 (US$6,125 to $7,700) plus €450 shipping outside the Netherlands for purchase, Netherlands-based parties can pledge €50 or more for short-term rentals and trials. Van.Eko hopes to raise €150,000 to begin Be.e production and get scooters out to Kickstarters by mid 2015.

Source: Van.Eko

2 comments
The Skud
I wish them luck - they are competing against many other small electric skooters around the world. More people are designing or making then as each day dawns.
Rick Tabar
reminds me of art deco furniture form the late 50's