Winter 2010

Superbus: safe, flexible and sustainable

Superbus is nearing completion and this innovative mobility concept will be officially launched in just a few months’ time. Everything within the Superbus concept is geared to sustainability. Ten Cate Advanced Composites bv is involved in the project as material supplier.

The TenCate Cetex® materials are used in the body and the eight doors of the vehicle. Safety, flexibility and sustainability are the characteristics of Superbus, and safety, lightness and strength were the demands and therefore the reasons for choosing TenCate.

On 22 September Superbus was unveiled to the press and public at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Hannover

Superbus is an innovative mobility concept where the basic principles include mobility, flexibility, energy efficiency, safety and reliability. Superbus delivers ‘comfortable, demand-dependent and point-to-point transport’. The luxury vehicle can reach a speed of 250 km an hour on dedicated Superbus lanes and run at a normal speed on existing roads. The vehicle has the same length as an average city bus but looks longer because it is not so high. Thanks to the rear-axle steering, Superbus has a modest turning circle.

Superbus at the RDW site in Lelystad (NL)

Impact-resistant, strong, light in weight, and the combination of these qualities – such were the requirements and for Wubbo Ockels the reasons to choose TenCate. ‘TenCate makes these materials. The relationship dates back to the development of the Nuna, the car powered by solar energy, so I automatically landed up at TenCate again.’ Nor is it likely to be the last time. Wubbo Ockels still has many ideas and dreams. The most advanced is sky sailing, ‘a sort of pioneering stunt with two planes on one line, one flying in the jet stream and the other outside. You need TenCate for these lightweight constructions.’

Wubbo Ockels talks with the press

For TenCate, sustainability is the basis and reverberation of its pursuit of continuity. TenCate products and systems make an essential contribution to a world where themes such as safety, protection and sustainability have become self-evident. The related trends include personal safety, protection of the everyday world, restriction of energy consumption and CO2 emissions, water management and care for the environment. It is an important task of TenCate to formulate answers to these trends, devise solutions and thus compel developments. Thanks to composite materials, TenCate has sustainable solutions available.

Wubbo Ockels: 'The Earth is a spaceship'

The interest of the professor of Sustainable Engineering and Technology at Delft University in sustainability was awakened during his time as an astronaut. ‘The Earth is really a spaceship with a thin layer of protection. This is no laughing matter; every process can damage it.’ And the exhaustibility of fossil fuels also plays a role. These are threats that, according to him, are still insufficiently recognized. He himself attempts in different ways to stimulate the enthusiasm of young people for sustainability and a sustainable society. ‘As far as sustainability is concerned, the Netherlands is a vacillating country. It’s shameful that what we produce in terms of sustainable energy lags so far behind. I think it’s important for young people to develop initiatives in this respect.’

Blue fabric (Tecawork Blue 65287)