Zbee Ultralight Electric Vehicle

In just 20 years time the population of vehicles on this planet is set to total an amazing 1.7 billion (International Energy Agency), a number not sustainable from a resource consumption or a pollution perspective.

Combined with this fact is the unceasing migration of global populations to urban centers, making it increasingly important to rethink city mobility.

Clean Motion AB has developed a small, super-efficient vehicle it hopes will be an important component in meeting the transportation needs of the 21st century. The ultra light Zbee is three-wheeled and electric to achieve unprecedented efficiency and driving economy. Its patent-pending front-end crash structure and three-point safety belts give it improved safety features over competing lightweight vehicles.

Zbee replaces conventional cars for short distance transportation of up to three people and light cargo.

Zbee uses 7% of the energy of the average fossil-fueled city car. Its lean form factor and lightweight FRP (fiber reinforced plastic) body allow it to be parked with ease, and with a speed of up to 45 km/h it zooms through traffic congestion. Zbee’s electrical motor generates little noise or pollution.

Zbee’s battery gives it a range of 50 kilometers between charges, and charging can be accomplished at standard electrical outlets. 

Transports are still heavily dependent on fossil fuels. Rapidly growing demand for transportation of goods as well as people results in steadily increasing carbon emissions all over the world. To break this negative trend there’s a need for transformation at multiple levels of our transport system, e.g. switching not only fuels but also our transportation practices. Ultralight electric vehicles (UEV) can provide this, by replacing traditional fossil fueled vehicles (e.g. cars, autorickshaw’s, tuk-tuk’s) for short, local transports and facilitating last-mile connections to public transportation systems. By at the same time switching from fossil petrol and diesel to electricity generated from renewable sources UEV’s may be an important component in a sustainable urban as well as suburban and rural infrastructure.

If 25% of second-owned cars and 20% of two and three-wheel vehicles which are fossil fuelled is replaced by UEV’s such as Zbee, the annual emission could be reduced by 22 mtCO2 per year from 2023.

In terms of technology Clean Motion will continue to look to reducing the Zbee’s weight –230 kilos – and improve efficiency in its electric drivetrain.

By eventually incorporating thin film solar photovoltaic panels on Zbee roofs this vehicle would be ready to generate its own renewable energy energy for up to 40  kilometers of daily driving. This advance is dependent on further energy efficiency and PV technology innovations.

Clean Motion is also looking into bio-composites to further reduce the lifecycle impact of Zbee vehicles. Improved locking systems and displays are also on the drawing board for technological improvement.

Clean Motion has started Zbee production in small volumes in Sweden and is in the process of ramping up production in Indonesia. Substantial investments are required for new market start up, both in terms of manufacturing facilities and in legislative work to get the Zbee vehicle type approved. Clean Motion will continue its efforts to advance the harmonization of global legislative frameworks for electric vehicles.

Göran Folkesson is founder and CEO of Clean Motion. He works together with a talented team including head of sales Christoffer Sveder; electrical engineer William Collings and production engineer Jörgen Johansson; marketing and communications manager Jenny Steinbeck, and chairman Hans Folkesson.