Cake investigates replacing plastic components with paper
Swedish e-mobility company Cake is looking cut back or cut out the plastic used in the manufacture of its electric motorcycles, and has partnered with PaperShell to evaluate the use of its natural fiber composite instead.
Though electric motos can offer a much cleaner and quieter ride than motorcycles with a combustion engine, materials selected for components can still have a negative impact on the environment. One such questionable material is plastic.
So Cake and PaperShell are joining forces to evaluate the latter's natural paper-like composite material to replace unspecified plastic components in the former's electric motorcycles.
"Cake was founded to inspire towards a zero-emission society and this naturally involves carefully investigating the best possible materials for use in our electric bikes," said Cake founder and CEO, Stefan Ytterborn. "We’re excited to work with PaperShell and hope that we can play a crucial part in finding a material that can minimize or even eradicate the use of conventional plastics in our motorcycles. This is a collaboration that ultimately will benefit the entire vehicle industry and beyond."
PaperShell components are made from 100 percent cellulose and are press-molded, or molded using an inflation bladder. They're reported to be as weather-resistant as plastic and as strong as fiber composites, though more environmentally-friendly than both. Cake says that the material has a low carbon footprint of 0.65 kg CO2e per kilogram, compared to 4.95 kg CO2e for polypropylene and 25.05 kg CO2e for fiberglass. And at the end of their useful lives, such components can be recycled in existing facilities.
"We hope we can replace as many plastic components as possible in the Cake bike with paper," said PaperShell in a press release. "The journey begins now and we are all ludicrously excited about it."
The collaboration is hoping to make an electric moto with the "smallest possible carbon footprint" available for sale by 2025.