This sweet little electric scooter hits 30mph in seven seconds, has a 50 mile range and is made from... hemp?
Its sleek looks belie the fact that this two-wheeled runaround is made from the hippiest of materials: hemp and flax fibers, bound together with a biologically derived resin. But despite the natural materials, it's perfectly strong enough to survive the city—and wins environmentally friendly brownie points, too.
Developed by Dutch startup Van.eko, the bike uses a monocoque design: a two-part outer shell provides the entire supporting structure, simultaneously housing the drivetrain and letting the rest of the bike hang off of it. The result is lightweight, nippy and nimble—which is why similar technology is used in Formula 1 cars.
Interestingly, the retro-style scooters won’t be sold, but rented on a weekly or monthly basis. The idea is that each customer will become their own little scooter renting business, allowing other people to use the vehicle—a way of spreading the word about the scooters, and also a great way of ensuring that users always have a vehicle in top working order. Initially available in Europe at this early stage, the scooter costs from arounds $180 a month. Let's hope it crosses the ocean soon. [Van.eko via WIRED]