Underscoring its focus on customer collaboration and innovation, SABIC Innovative Plastics has helped a key customer - Karbon Kinetics Ltd. (KKL) - break away from the pack and ride to success with a unique new bicycle that uses high-value Verton* RV00CE specialty compound. KKL's new Gocycle electric bicycle - on display here at NPE 2009 in SABIC booth W123011 - is the lightest production electric bicycle in the world.
It weighs just 16.2kg and yet is extremely durable, thanks in large part to high-performance Verton composite, a 60-percent long glass fiber-reinforced nylon composite that gives the award-winning Gocycle extreme stiffness, impact strength, exceptional toughness and reliability. The new fold-up bicycle offers clean electric power and an aesthetic, seamless design that gives the rider a no-effort ride with no emissions. It is an environmentally responsible, low-cost urban transport solution that meets all European Union (EU) and U.S. city cycle testing standards.
LNP Verton RV00CE specialty compound was chosen over metal for many of the Gocycle's structural components enabling very light-weight part consolidation and a unique design. The reputation and previous successes of Verton specialty compound in applications such as ski bindings - where ruggedness, weight-out and superior mechanical properties are required - helped lead to KKL's decision to use the high-quality SABIC Innovative Plastics material.
Gocycle components using LNP Verton specialty compound include: front fork/controller plug, Pitstopwheel hub attachments, tolerance ring and wave spring applications, and the award-winning rear shock absorber, Lockshock. Using an engineering thermoplastic for a bearing and wave spring in this type of application is a technological breakthrough thanks to the high strength and durability the SABIC Innovative Plastics material provides.
The vehicle's designer and the founder of KKL is Richard Thorpe. Gocycle was developed with city professionals and their families in mind. Its on-demand power can be activated at the touch of a button. To date, Gocycle has won numerous awards for design and innovation including the Best Complete Bicycle (2009) and Best Innovation Awards at its debut at the 21st Taipei International Cycle Show in 2008. The first corporation to operate a fleet of Gocycles is the Dutch tire franchise, Vredestein, which has ordered 1,000 bikes for their customers to use while their cars are being serviced.
KKL is currently focusing Gocycle marketing in Europe, to be followed by the United States in approximately 12 to 18 months.