Solvay is hosting electric superbike manufacturer, Saroléa, at its Brussels campus this year, a clear example of the Group promoting innovation and open collaboration with start-ups and researchers on its site.
Saroléa have set up their offices at the Group’s headquarters in Brussels and will be office neighbors for the next three years…yes, that’s right.
The Belgian company was created in 1850 by Joseph Saroléa. The brand exported its models around the world successfully before World War II and finally stopped operating in the late 1960s. In 2008, Saroléa was bought by twin brothers, Torsten and Bjorn Robbens, who wanted to develop and build high-performing, 100% electric machines.
Torsten Robbens, Chief Technology Officer at Saroléa, explains: “With the Saroléa headquarters being located on the Solvay Campus in Brussels, it gives us the unique position to work closely with the Solvay R&D department. This synergy allows us to implement more state of the art carbon fibre composites and 3D printed solutions in our motorcycles.”
“The partnership with Solvay Group is another milestone in the long history of Saroléa. Working closely together enables us to define the future of sustainable mobility for the two-wheel market. Already today we see a significant performance and efficiency gain by using the advanced lightweight composites from Solvay. It gives Saroléa a competitive advantage for not only our 100% electric racing motorcycles but also our brand new road-legal customer bikes. In the near future we are looking forward to broaden the number of Solvay solutions and products used in our motorcycles,” says Bjorn Robbens, CEO at Saroléa.
Solvay delivers technical solutions to Saroléa thanks to the Group’s innovative techniques to drive mobility and sustainability. Solvay provides the start-up with advanced materials to help enhance product performance, all the while remaining sustainable in their production and output.
A combination of materials and techniques result in lightweighting, and a very strong and rigid carbon fibre frame and swingarm. It is these pieces which are made with Solvay’s composites products. For example, Saroléa’s MANX7, an electric superbike (a lightweight, lightly powered motorcycle optimized for speed and handling rather than comfort), is an example of a carbon fiber monocoque -a vehicle structure in which the vehicle frame is integral with the body- chassis.
On 21 April, Saroléa participated in the prestigious Le Mans 24-hour (a popular racing event which takes place yearly in France for motorbikes).
Right before the race, Dean Harrison, the promising british roadracer, and Saroléa’s development rider for the past three years, rode the Saroléa SP7, doing two demonstration laps around the famous 4.185 km circuit for 75,000 spectators.
Solvay continues providing innovative solutions and products to startups to help enhance their products while supporting their sustainability projects.