Swedish startup STILRIDE has raised £2.5m seed investment to produce sustainable electric motorcycles and scooters using a new manufacturing process dubbed ‘industrial origami’ involving robots.
These robots are able to fold sheets of stainless steel into exacting shapes with the ease of folding a sheet of paper, much like origami. This process is being used to create the chassis and body for a fleet of futuristic-looking sport utility Scooter Ones (SUS1).
While traditional scooters consist of a tubular frame and plastic body, the SUS1 is constructed by folding sheets of stainless steel over curves, resulting in a durable body and distinctive aesthetic.
The upsides of this ‘industrial origami’ procedure are that it requires 70% fewer components, drives a 25% reduction in labour costs and a 20% reduction in material costs. The result is that the SUS1’s chassis already has a 50% lower climate impact than traditional scooters.
To further reduce the company’s environmental impact, STILRIDE is building a production process that allows the steel sheets to be flat-packed and shipped to local factories across Europe where they will be folded and fitted with a hub motor and battery pack.
Tue Beijer and Jonas Nyvang set up the company and are looking to reimagine how high-performance electric-mobility products are manufactured and distributed.
Jonas Nyvang, co-founder and chief executive of STILRIDE, said: “My co-founder Tue first introduced the idea for the scooter to me at a dinner in 2019. He sketched out how it could be manufactured using origami folding and built a model out of paper. It’s surreal to have now created a high-spec electric motorcycle that’s true to that original vision.”
Mr Nvyang added: “It meets our commitment to sustainability whilst also having a radical and distinctive design identity. Not only is it unisex, but it’s uni-age. It’s designed for everyone, and we hope it can be an accessible entrypoint to the world of scooters and motorcycles for those with an eye for style and a love of nature.”
Consumers in Europe will be able to purchase the scooter later this year, with 90,000 people already signed up to the waiting list.
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