Check out this cool electric scooter built from hemp. For some reason, it reminds me of the scooter Audrey Hepburn drove in Roman Holiday.
If it feels European to you, that ‘s because it is. While the Italian made Vespa (which means wasp) has been around since 1946, this scooter is the modern, eco version. The birth place of the Be.e (funny how they name these scooters after insects) is the Netherlands (the same country that thrives, in spite of their infamy for “coffee houses” and pot tourism). The Vespsa runs on gas, but Van.Eko’ s Be.e is electric, made from a biobased composite that is actually stronger than fiber glass and it intended to be a sustainable option.
Van.Eko describes itself as “a company with a sustainable heart and an entrepreneurial backbone” and their mission is “To provide the most sustainable, fun and, efficient means of transport for the cities and commuters of Europe.” While they haven’t actually launched this scooter just yet, their five prototypes are creating quite the buzz.
What I found particularly outstanding is that the development of this scooter was funded by two universities. In the Netherlands, they apparently want to see their research put to good use so they align themselves with projects that apply their research in a practical manner. How great is it that they didn’t back off because of the hemp component of this project? I used to work at a university and with the amount of red tape that goes into grant funding, I could never see this happening here, especially since industrial hemp is still listed under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.
Oh well, at least the Dutch are on the right track as they share with us another glowing example of the versatility of the hemp plant and a missed opportunity for the U.S. to move forward with an innovative idea.
You can find lots more details about this awesome scooter here: Electric Hemp Scooter