STILRIDE is a design and technology startup. We’ve created a unique and sustainable manufacturing process dubbed ‘industrial origami’ which allows us to create electro-mobility products out of single sheets of steel, using robots and lasers. This process significantly reduces the number of raw materials and components required for vehicle production, making it more sustainable.
Our first product is an electric motorcycle called the 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 recyclable stainless steel over curves. This results in a durable body and distinctive aesthetic, and it’s also extremely lightweight compared to your typical scooter.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
Tue and I had the idea for STILRIDE at a dinner party three years ago. We’ve been friends for many years and have travelled together around Japan and Italy. We’re both inspired by the 60s, the British Mod culture, Japanese design as well as classic Italian scooters and motorcycles – and we both have backgrounds in design.
At the dinner party, Tue was talking about building an iconic electric motorcycle that was created in harmony with nature. He made a prototype out of paper – and I was sold. STILRIDE was born.
What problem are you solving?
Firstly, we’re making electric vehicles greener by using fewer raw materials, reducing their carbon footprint and making them easier to recycle.
The sheet metal we’re using for the SUS1’s body is much easier to recycle than a plastic scooter body. It can also be flat-packed and shipped to local manufacturers to be folded and fitted with a hub motor and battery pack. Shipping sheet metal to local manufacturers uses fewer resources than shipping the final product, meaning each scooter’s carbon footprint will be significantly reduced. Using our tech, manufacturing can also be scaled up and down depending on demand, which avoids the trap of long, expensive and wasteful logistics chains.
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What’s exciting is that our origami-inspired manufacturing process can be used to create all manner of metal structures, meaning eventually this method can be used to reduce the environmental impact of production across the entire steel industry.
The pandemic has also highlighted the importance of having strong supply chains and resilient domestic production processes in times of global crisis. This is a problem we can help solve. An important part of our technology is that we will eventually be able to sell it to metal workshops and small manufacturers around Europe, so that they can create and produce their own products locally using our tech. Following the pandemic, we are keener than ever to expedite this process to create a sustainable and resilient means of producing and distributing EVs and other steel products.
What makes your product different from others on the market?
Aside from having better sustainability credentials, we’re also proud to have created an electric scooter that is green and high performing, without compromising on design. Tue and I have backgrounds in fashion, tech and industrial design, so the aesthetic of the finished scooter was really important to us.
We have shown that taking a planet-friendly approach doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on style, integrity or design identity. You can create products that look amazing, whilst also working in harmony with nature.
What can we hope to see from STILRIDE in the future?
The SUS1 is the first application of our technology and next we want to expand our product offering to add cargo bikes and trailers to our product offering. We also hope to scale the use and applications of our technology, so that manufacturers around the world can benefit from a more sustainable means of producing and distributing their products.