Swedish start-up STILRIDE has raised £2.5m to produce sustainable electric motorcycles and scooters using STILFOLD, which the company describes as a form of ‘industrial origami’.
The manufacturing technique see robots fold single sheets of steel into intricate, lightweight and durable new structures. The process is being used to create the chassis and body for a fleet of next-generation e-motorcycles that will be made available to consumers in Europe later this year.
This £2.5m seed round was joined by angels and private investors including Gustaf Hagman, Saeid Esmaeilizadeh, Sam Bonnier and Andreas Adler.
“Their green steel production technique STILFOLD is groundbreaking and there are endless application areas, this is just the beginning,” said Hagman, a serial entrepreneur, business angel and investor.
STILFOLD was developed by Tue Beijer and Jonas Nyvang who are using the method to ‘reimagine how high-performance electric-mobility products are manufactured and distributed’ using steelwork, advanced robotics and bold design.
The funding will be used to bring the start-up’s first product – Sport Utility Scooter One (SUS1) – to market. The SUS1 is constructed by folding sheets of stainless steel over curves, which requires fewer raw materials and reduces labour costs. Compared to a traditional scooter, the SUS1 is said to require 70 per cent fewer components, drives a 25 per cent reduction in labour costs and a 20 per cent reduction in material costs.
E-motorcycles are the first application of STILRIDE’s proprietary STILFOLD technology, but the company said it has plans use the 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 which allows the 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.
So far, 90,000 people have joined the waiting list for the STILRIDE SUS1 e-scooter, with the first pre-series set to be released to customers this autumn.
In a statement, Nyvang, co-founder and CEO of STILRIDE, said:“We have created a process which builds high-performance, sustainable personal mobility products that are also durable, lightweight and desirable. The SUS1 is the first application of the technology and the ambition is to apply it to cargo bikes and trailer products.
“Using STILFOLD, manufacturers can minimise resource consumption and waste, cut down on labour 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.”