This electric autonomous ferry is the future of emission-free public water transportation!

Mobility and transportation are rapidly changing to become greener in an effort to reduce carbon emissions. From electric cars to sustainable yachts, talented teams are working in every transport category to provide a better alternative. One such project is the CAPTN Vaiaro which proposes two autonomous electric ferry concepts that offer a glimpse into the future of the industry. The team of designers developed CAPTN under the coordination of Kiel University in Germany because the concept was designed keeping the port city of Kiel in mind.

The city of Kiel is quickly turning into a bustling hub which is posing a challenge for city planners who want to make the public transportation network more efficient while still being aligned with the city’s climate goals. They are anticipating a spike in the ferry traffic between the west and east shores of Kiel Fjord and therefore need a solution that can keep up with the growth while also running on clean energy. Those two conditions are fulfilled by CAPTN Vaiaro, which stands for Clean Autonomous Public Transport Network, as it is specifically designed to integrate the ferry crossing into the city’s clean mobility network. The two different elements – the ‘floating platform’ and the ‘passage’ – allow for rapid carriage of buses and cyclists/pedestrians across the Fjord.

Using electric propulsion, the ferries make public transportation quiet and emission-free with electricity from renewable sources. The autonomous operation also will increase the frequency of service significantly. The ferry is designed to be available on-demand at all times, and operation is possible around the clock, every day, with integrated smart tech. The design addresses the entire mobility chain, specifically connections between bus and ferry services, to increase efficiency.

CAPTN’s team goes beyond the designers and includes several scientists and working groups from Kiel University, Kiel University of Applied Sciences, Muthesius University of Fine Arts & Design, as well as representatives from politics, administration, and industry. It also was one of the winners of the iF Design Talent Award 2020 and the jury described this project as one that takes a highly creative and innovative approach to public transport, imagining how a car-free city can nonetheless span two sides of a major waterway. CAPTN’s motto is ‘making innovations visible,’ and it shows!

Designer: Simeon Ortmüller, Vincent Steinhart-Besser, Yigang Shen, Jingyue Chen, and Tobias Gehrke

Mercedes-Benz’ new electric scooter has a mileage of over 3100 miles – hello zero emissions!

As we continue to move towards a cleaner and sustainable future, automakers around the world are doing their best to switch over to electric vehicles. Mercedes-Benz has spent the past couple of years developing electric mobility concepts and it has finally unveiled its own fully-electric scooter which accelerates our zero-emissions journey – at least for short distances and especially for city dwellers. Longevity is at the core of this e-scooter, it uses high-quality components and materials to give the user a mileage of over 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers) which allows for more freedom when it comes to micro-mobility solutions.

Mercedes-Benz has launched this EV in collaboration with a Swiss scooter specialist, Micro, to make this e-scooter sleek, strong, and efficient. It features an electric motor with a maximum 500 W power which allows the scooter to accelerate to a speed 20 km/h (permitted in Germany) while the 7.8 Ah battery gives a range of up to 25 kilometers. This lets users travel with speed, comfort, and security. The kickboard is wide enough to have plenty of room for both feel and has a non-slip coating for more stability. The e-scooter has front + rear suspension and comes with 20 cm diameter rubber wheels that effortlessly handle uneven surfaces like cobblestones making it ideal for short urban commutes.

The electric scooter also features a retractable steering column that is adjustable to the rider’s height making it a popular option in the market. The handlebars are ergonomically designed with the accelerator on the right and brake on the left as well as an integrated bell. It has a rear drum brake and a foot brake on the protective plate for added riding security. The compact scooter also includes front and rear lights along with the side reflectors so the user can ride it in traffic at any time of the day. There is a display in the center that shows the speed, battery level, and riding mode – this is also all synced to the user’s mobile app for the electric scooter.

The best part is that you can fold the Mercedes-Benz e-scooter using a simple mechanism operated with just a press of the foot. To make it more streamlined and easy to carry, the handlebars also fold down. The e-scooter weighs around 29 lbs (13.5 kg) making it portable and convenient. Let’s kickstart our zero-emissions journey with a touch of a luxury automaker!

Designer: Mercedes-Benz

This WWII fighter jet-looking electric bike blends futuristic design with Japanese details

Electric bikes usually have a futuristic aesthetic and its very rare that an e-bike evokes a sense of nostalgia while fitting within modern times. That is what makes the Katalis EV.500 electric motorcycle special, it is inspired by a WWII fighter aircraft that brings power without pollution. A dear friend described this design as ‘steampunk without the steam’ and we couldn’t agree more.

A Jakarta-based design and branding studio that has expertise in the field of mobility has designed this fighter jet-like electric bike in the middle of a pandemic. In fact, the pandemic influenced the people of Indonesia to be more mindful of their health and make changes in their lifestyle that made the environment around them cleaner – in terms of germs as well as pollutants. There were 3 core variables – 1) freedom in access to mobility 2) happiness 3) pollution-free vehicle. The Katalis is a custom build of a Selis Garuda electric motorcycle injected with the adrenaline of a wartime pilot. The aesthetics are unlike those of a traditional electric bike – the design team got rid of the existing frame and replaced it entirely with a new body made of series 6061 aluminum which gives it the military visual appeal highlighted with Japanese design details while being kind to the planet.

“We think it is quite rare to have an electric motorcycle design that has a metal body or shield,” says Julian Palapa, principal designer at Katalis company. “Furthermore, the rider of this electric motorcycle will also be spoiled by various retro-style yet functional instrument panels — from an analog voltmeter to the light switch.” Katalis hopes that building a custom electric bike while being in lockdown inspires more young designers to channel their energy into boosting their creativity.

Designer: Katalis Company

The Tesla Cybertruck-like angular built of this e-bike has us raring to go!

When you think electric bikes, you probably have an image of a tech-ed up bicycle. But as design and technology advance, electric bikes have started to look and perform better than the average bikes while being a far more sustainable option. Be it a Tesla or bikes like the eScrambler here, the future is all about clean transport, renewable energy, and long-lasting design. And, of course, Wi-Fi which is one of the coolest things about the eScrambler!

Switch Motorcycles is a new electric bike company and they have just unveiled the eScrambler which is their very first product and we have to say, it’s quite impressive! To share some context, we expect nothing short of this from custom motorcycle veteran Matthew Waddick who teamed up with designer Michel Riis (former Yamaha Japan Advanced Labs Industrial Designer and past Danish Flat Track champion!) The first thing you’ll notice is that it has a sturdy, angular build, almost like the flat trackers and classic bikes of the ’70s or even the Tesla Cybertruck, making it stand apart from the usual slimmer electric bikes. To complete its big-guy aesthetic, it has 18-inch wheels wrapped in chunky tires, KTM forks, and a central mono-shock. Being a vehicle in 2020, it has all the tech you’d want in a bike – a digital display, cruise control, a battery level indicator, integrated GPS tracking, three power modes, and in-built Wi-Fi which truly sets it apart. However, we don’t encourage being on the ‘gram or making Tik Toks while you ride!

The eScrambler visually looks closer to the motorbike which might make the rider develop an emotional connection with it faster – we all know that is a real thing. This mid-sized electric bike has been in the making for over two years and has the top-notch tech you’d expect along with admirable performance. It is powered by a 50kW (67hp) electric motor and has a top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph). The eScrambler picks up from 0 to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) in a whopping 3.2 seconds and has a real-world range of 150 km (93 miles) which makes it one of the top e-bikes in the market. With a pivoting swingarm at the output shaft, the complex gearing is eliminated to be replaced by a belt for smooth power delivery and lower maintenance than a regular chain drive. Designed by the masters of custom engineering themselves, the eScrambler is perfect for everyone who wants to give their bike a personal touch while riding into an environmentally friendly future with speed!

Designer: Switch Motorcycles

This foldable e-bike makes clean commuting look great for the conscious consumer!

As we move towards the future of clean commuting, we must keep in mind that not all places will have a robust public transport system and if it is a suburb then chances are that things may not be at a walkable distance always. In realistic situations like this electric bikes are the most viable option – they are quick to maneuver on busy streets and continue to keep your carbon footprint at a minimum. To make them even more functional, designer Kaiser Chang has created a foldable e-bike called Somerset that is truly ideal for any urban or suburban dweller.

Somerset gets its name from ‘tumbling’ because it tumbles and collapses into a compact form. The mainframe of the e-bike uses an oval-shaped tube as a slide rail, this makes the front fork slide down and combines the two wheels and to transform into a handcart. Somerset’s circular steel structure and semi-arc frames give it a sleek, slim visual aesthetic. The flow lines make the e-bike look modern and minimal even when its folded. Now, this is what I call a true problem-solving design!

Designer: Kaiser Chang