Imagine a comfortable, fashionable electric scooter made from sustainable materials that doesn’t sacrifice quality. Thanks to a collaboration between designer Mikiya Kobayashi, automotive manufacturer Aisin and wood furniture manufacturer Karimoku, this concept for the ILY-Ai wooden electric scooter promises just that.
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While the three-wheeled, personal electric scooter is mainly meant for use in large public spaces such as malls and event halls, its shape allows it to blend into nearly every type of venue. With three wheels for optimum balance and mobility, a soft, padded leather seat and a safety sensor, the ILY-Ai scooter is super comfortable and completely user-friendly.
The body is carved out of solid chestnut wood, one of the stronger of the natural hardwoods. According to the designer, chestnut wood is about 75% lighter than white oak and lasts longer thanks to its natural ability to resist decay. The combination of aluminum, a highly recyclable material, in the design helps complement the smooth, unpainted wooden exterior.
While the work of Karimoku and Kobayashi is observed aesthetically through the curved wooden body, the expertise of Aisin’s engineers is hidden inside. The latest in electric vehicle technology under the hardwood includes a safety sensor to bring the entire vehicle to a complete stop automatically in case of unforeseen obstacles, especially handy if the rider becomes distracted.
The team that put this concept together is highly qualified for the next biggest thing in functional, fashionable electric mobility. Tokyo-based Mikiya Kobayashi is known for minimal shapes and natural materials, specifically wood, in his designs. The relationship between the designer and Karimoku spans 13 years, when the two collaborated on a furniture collection together. Aisin, which is partly owned by Toyota, specializes in a wide range of energy-related products for the automotive, lifestyle and wellness industries.
Photography by Yosuke Owashi via Mikiya Kobayashi