Motorcycles

What the flax? Lightweight Be.e scooter's body made from plants

What the flax? Lightweight Be....
The Be.e electric scooter (Photo: Waarmakers)
The Be.e electric scooter (Photo: Waarmakers)
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The Be.e electric scooter is built around a monocoque body made from Flax and bio-resins (Photo: Waarmakers)
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The Be.e electric scooter is built around a monocoque body made from Flax and bio-resins (Photo: Waarmakers)
The Be.e electric scooter being unveiled in Amsterdam (Photo: Waarmakers)
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The Be.e electric scooter being unveiled in Amsterdam (Photo: Waarmakers)
The Be.e electric scooter being unveiled in Amsterdam (Photo: Waarmakers)
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The Be.e electric scooter being unveiled in Amsterdam (Photo: Waarmakers)
The lockable compartment is home to the scooter's charger, and is big enough to stow away a helmet between rides (Photo: Waarmakers)
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The lockable compartment is home to the scooter's charger, and is big enough to stow away a helmet between rides (Photo: Waarmakers)
The Be.e weighs just 95 kg, including the battery (Photo: Waarmakers)
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The Be.e weighs just 95 kg, including the battery (Photo: Waarmakers)
The Dutch public get a closer view of the Be.e electric scooter (Photo: Waarmakers)
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The Dutch public get a closer view of the Be.e electric scooter (Photo: Waarmakers)
Body material close up (Photo: Waarmakers)
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Body material close up (Photo: Waarmakers)
The monocoque body made from natural fiber-reinforced composites (Photo: Waarmakers)
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The monocoque body made from natural fiber-reinforced composites (Photo: Waarmakers)
The Be.e electric scooter in black (Photo: Waarmakers)
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The Be.e electric scooter in black (Photo: Waarmakers)
The Be.e is launched in June 27 in Amsterdam (Photo: Waarmakers)
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The Be.e is launched in June 27 in Amsterdam (Photo: Waarmakers)
The natural fiber composites on show in the final model (Photo: Waarmakers)
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The natural fiber composites on show in the final model (Photo: Waarmakers)
Side view revealing the Flax composite (Photo: Waarmakers)
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Side view revealing the Flax composite (Photo: Waarmakers)
Black and white models side by side (Photo: Waarmakers)
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Black and white models side by side (Photo: Waarmakers)
Flat out, the Be.e offers a range of 55 km (Photo: Waarmakers)
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Flat out, the Be.e offers a range of 55 km (Photo: Waarmakers)
The Be.e has a top speed of 55 km/h (Photo: Waarmakers)
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The Be.e has a top speed of 55 km/h (Photo: Waarmakers)
If the rider limits the speed to 25 km/h, a range of over 80 km can be expected (Photo: Waarmakers)
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If the rider limits the speed to 25 km/h, a range of over 80 km can be expected (Photo: Waarmakers)
The 600 W charger that offers 20 Km of range for every hour spent charging (Photo: Waarmakers)
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The 600 W charger that offers 20 Km of range for every hour spent charging (Photo: Waarmakers)
The Be.e electric scooter (Photo: Waarmakers)
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The Be.e electric scooter (Photo: Waarmakers)
From design to reality, the Be.e electric scooter (Photo: Waarmakers)
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From design to reality, the Be.e electric scooter (Photo: Waarmakers)
The monocoque body is made from natural fiber-reinforced composites, a modern take on glass-fiber composites where the glass has been replaced by Flax and then mixed with bio-resin (Photo: Waarmakers)
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The monocoque body is made from natural fiber-reinforced composites, a modern take on glass-fiber composites where the glass has been replaced by Flax and then mixed with bio-resin (Photo: Waarmakers)
Design sketch of the Be.e electric scooter (Image: Waarmakers)
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Design sketch of the Be.e electric scooter (Image: Waarmakers)
Design sketch of the Be.e electric scooter (Image: Waarmakers)
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Design sketch of the Be.e electric scooter (Image: Waarmakers)
Design sketch of the Be.e electric scooter (Image: Waarmakers)
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Design sketch of the Be.e electric scooter (Image: Waarmakers)
Design sketch of the Be.e electric scooter (Image: Waarmakers)
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Design sketch of the Be.e electric scooter (Image: Waarmakers)
Design sketch of the Be.e electric scooter (Image: Waarmakers)
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Design sketch of the Be.e electric scooter (Image: Waarmakers)
Design sketch of the Be.e electric scooter (Image: Waarmakers)
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Design sketch of the Be.e electric scooter (Image: Waarmakers)
Design sketch of the Be.e electric scooter (Image: Waarmakers)
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Design sketch of the Be.e electric scooter (Image: Waarmakers)
Design sketch of the Be.e electric scooter (Image: Waarmakers)
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Design sketch of the Be.e electric scooter (Image: Waarmakers)
Creating the monocoque body (Photo: Van.Eko)
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Creating the monocoque body (Photo: Van.Eko)
The nano-coated windshield is said to repel water and dirt (Photo: Van.Eko)
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The nano-coated windshield is said to repel water and dirt (Photo: Van.Eko)
Readying Be.e scooters for launch (Photo: Van.Eko)
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Readying Be.e scooters for launch (Photo: Van.Eko)
Creating the monocoque body (Photo: Van.Eko)
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Creating the monocoque body (Photo: Van.Eko)
The first Be.e scooters are ready for their public debut (Photo: Van.Eko)
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The first Be.e scooters are ready for their public debut (Photo: Van.Eko)

Flax is undoubtedly one very useful plant. The seeds are both tasty and nutritious, its fibers have been used to protect our delicate skins for thousands of years, and it's helped us express ourselves through art and music. Now it's about to play a supporting role in quickly zipping us through busy city streets. The Be.e electric scooter designed by Dutch firm Waarmakers has a monocoque body made from NPSP's natural fiber-reinforced composites, a modern take on glass-fiber composites where the glass has been replaced by Flax and then mixed with bio-resin. Project partner Van.Eko launched the first models on June 27, and is now readying the funky-looking two-wheeler for full commercial production.

Manufactured, developed and tested in Amsterdam, the Be.e can get 100 Nm of torque and up to 55 km/h (34 mph) from its 4 kW electric motor. At such speeds, a rider should be looking at a range of 55 km (34 miles) from the 48 V/40 Ah battery pack, but the developers say that this can be extended to over 80 km if the e-scooter is kept below 25 km/h for the whole journey.

The natural fiber composites on show in the final model (Photo: Waarmakers)
The natural fiber composites on show in the final model (Photo: Waarmakers)

The Be.e is fitted with a 600 W charger that offers 20 Km (12 miles) of range for every hour spent charging, and is housed in a lockable compartment that's big enough to stow away a helmet between rides.

Waarmakers says that the design significantly reduces the total number of components needed when producing a steel-framed vehicle, while tipping the scales at a road-ready 95 kg (209 lb). The Be.e can take a combined rider and passenger weight of 180 kg (400 lb).

There's LED lighting front and back, USB charging ports to top up your smartphone while in the supplied holder, Jjuan hydraulic disc braking front and rear, electric controls from Domino, and a nano-coated windshield that's said to repel water and dirt. Van.Eko will also throw in a can of tire repair spray with every purchase, to help keep you rolling in the event of a flat.

The Be.e has a top speed of 55 km/h (Photo: Waarmakers)
The Be.e has a top speed of 55 km/h (Photo: Waarmakers)

The Be.e does appear to be available to buy and will come with a 5 year or 50,000 km warranty that covers all parts, though we're still awaiting confirmation on precisely where you can get one and for how much.

Van.Eko also intends to run a rental scheme with four range levels on offer, starting at €140 (about US$184) per month for 300 km (186 miles). If you don't use your monthly allowance, the surplus can be carried forward to the next. The company checks the distance traveled once every year, and if you've gone over your range limit, you'll be charged for the extra kilometers at the same rate as your chosen plan.

The video below offers a very brief look at the Be.e in action.

Sources: Waarmakers, Van.Eko, NPSP

Be.e in action! Doekle Terpstra taking it for a spin.

9 comments
The Skud
Now that's what I call REAL carbon-fibre! Make it by using all-natural no nasty stuff hemp fibre (not MJ) and the greenies will go wild ... All jokes aside, it seems to have good specs if the price is right.
Slowburn
It's a nice toy. I really like that the manufacturer gave the range at speed as well as the maximum range.
TedF
Polymer reinforced Flax worked well in the body of the East German Trabant. The 'Commies' had some good ideas it appears...
DonGateley
Put an inverted hitch above that rear wheel for a grocery/hardware/book cart accessory and I'm quite interested. Price being reasonable, of course. First I've heard of bio-resin.
Slowburn
re; DonGateley The first hardhats used by miners were felt hats saturated with linseed oil.
Stewart Mitchell
hope we continue to have electric power
Dave B13
It's Deja Vu all over again. http://www.thehenryford.org/research/soybeancar.aspx The "Soybean Car" was actually a plastic-bodied car unveiled by Henry Ford on August 13, 1941 at Dearborn Days, an annual community festival. ... the man who was instrumental in creating the car, Lowell E. Overly, claims it was "…soybean fiber in a phenolic resin with formaldehyde used in the impregnation" (Davis, 51).
Dave B13
Even more wayback 1910 ~ 1913 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micarta http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenolic_resin
unklmurray
Not anything I would want......too small not enough range,too slow I save my $........I could buy a Utah Trikes Fat Cat,with a "BaFaang" mid drive W/2-3 extra battreies for their retail price......