‘Industrial origami’ for sustainable stainless e-motorcycles

STILRIDE founders Tue Beijer (left) and Jonas Nyvang. FEATURED STORY ‘Industrial origami’ for sustainable
stainless e-motorcycles

STILRIDE founders Tue Beijer (left) and Jonas Nyvang.

Swedish technology and design start-up STILRIDE has raised GBP 2.5m to produce sustainable, stainless steel electric motorcycles and scooters using a ground-breaking process dubbed ‘industrial origami’.

Text & images by STILRIDE

The trailblazing manufacturing technique involves robots that are able to fold single sheets of recyclable stainless steel into intricate, lightweight and durable new structures – significantly reducing the environmental impact of production. This process is being used to create the chassis and body for a fleet of next-generation e-motorcycles which will be made available to consumers in Europe later this year.
This GBP 2.5m seed funding was joined by angels (individuals whoare looking to invest in very early startups) and private investors that include Gustaf Hagman, Saeid Esmaeilizadeh, Sam Bonnier and Andreas Adler.

The STILFOLD production technique.
The STILFOLD production technique.

Pioneering technology

STILRIDE’s pioneering industrial origami technology, called STILFOLD, is the brainchild of best friends Tue Beijer and Jonas Nyvang, whose backgrounds span the worlds of fashion, industrial design and engineering. With STILRIDE, the duo aims to reimagine how high-performance electric-mobility products are manufactured and distributed using cutting-edge steelwork, advanced robotics and ambitious design.
The injection of funding will be used to bring the startup’s first product to the mass market: the futuristic Sport Utility Scooter One (SUS1). Unlike traditional scooters (which consist of a tubular frame and plastic body), the SUS1 is constructed by folding sheets of stainless steel over curves, much like origami. Not only does this result in a durable body and distinctive aesthetic, but it also requires fewer raw materials and reduces labour costs. Compared to a traditional scooter, the SUS1 requires 70% fewer components, drives a 25% reduction in labour costs and a 20% reduction in material costs.
The SUS1 is constructed using 8.9 kg of Outokumpu’s temper-rolled austenitic stainless steel Forta 301/4310 (EN 1.4310) for excellent strength and corrosion resistance.

More ideas to follow

E-motorcycles are the first application of STILRIDE’s proprietary STILFOLD technology. Next, STILRIDE will use this technique to add Cargo Bikes and trailers to its product offering.
To reduce the product’s carbon footprint, the company is aiming to create a production process that allows the stainless steel sheets to be flat-packed and shipped to local factories across Europe where they’ll be folded and fitted with a hub motor and battery pack. Already, the climate impact of developing the SUS1’s chassis is 50% lower than that of traditional scooters.

Waiting list

The Stilride SUS1 e-scooter in gold colour.
The Stilride SUS1 e-scooter in gold colour.

There are already 90,000 people on the waiting list for the STILRIDE SUS1 e-scooter, with the first pre-series set to be released to customers in the autumn of 2022. Jonas Nyvang, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of STILRIDE, comments: “STILRIDE sits at the intersection of technology, mobility and design. 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. 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 entry point to the world of scooters and motorcycles for those with an eye for style and a love of nature.
“The STILFOLD technology is best described as a dance between robots and steel. We have created a process that builds high-performance, sustainable personal mobility products that are also durable, lightweight and desirable.”
“Using STILFOLD, manufacturers can minimize resource consumption and waste, cut down on labor costs and ultimately reduce the environmental impact of production. We’re launching in Europe first as it’s a market that relies heavily on outsourcing and has much to gain from increasing its domestic manufacturing capabilities. Next, we will look to expand into other international markets.”

About this Featured Story

This Featured Story first appeared in Stainless Steel World March 2022 magazine. To read many more articles like these on an (almost) monthly basis, subscribe to our magazine (available in print and digitally).

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