Cake studies replacing plastic components with paper

Swedish e-mobility company Cake is looking to reduce or cut out the plastic used in the manufacture of its electric motorcycles and has teamed up with PaperShell to evaluate the use of its natural fiber composite instead.

Although electric motorcycles can offer a much cleaner and quieter ride than combustion engine motorcycles, the materials selected for components can still have a negative impact on the environment. One of these questionable materials is plastic.

Cake and PaperShell are therefore teaming up to evaluate the latter’s natural paper-like composite material to replace unspecified plastic components in the former’s electric motorcycles.

“Cake was founded to inspire a zero-emissions society and that naturally involves looking carefully at the best possible materials to use in our e-bikes,” said Stefan Ytterborn, Founder and CEO of Cake. “We are delighted to work with PaperShell and hope that we can play a crucial role in finding a material that can minimize or even eradicate the use of conventional plastics in our motorcycles. This is a collaboration which will ultimately benefit the entire automotive industry and beyond.”

PaperShell natural composite is press molded or formed using an inflation bladder

papershell

PaperShell components are made from 100% cellulose and are press molded or molded using an inflation bladder. They are reported to be as weather resistant as plastic and as strong as fiber composites, although they are more environmentally friendly than both. Cake says the material has a low carbon footprint of 0.65 kg CO2e per kilogram, compared to 4.95 kg CO2e for polypropylene and 25.05 kg CO2e for fiberglass. And at the end of their useful life, these components can be recycled in existing facilities.

“We hope to be able to replace as many plastic components in the Cake bike as possible with paper,” PaperShell said in a press release. “The journey begins now and we’re all ridiculously excited about it.”

The collaboration hopes to release an electric motorcycle with “the smallest possible carbon footprint” for sale by 2025.

Sources: Cake, PaperShell

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