"WHEELE is an Uruguayan company created in 2016, with the purpose of marketing light electric vehicles, assisting in sales, workshop and spare parts. The products marketed by the brand are electric bicycles of different types and for personal and commercial use, electric motorcycles, scooters, electric cargo tricycles. Within the purpose of the company is the development of sustainable vehicles underpinning its activity with the introduction of environmentally friendly construction techniques. "
Paulo Bareño, Owner
Wheele’s proposal encompasses the manufacturing of 3 cargo tricycles; the tricycles are made with imported parts and national assembly recycled from cigarette butts. For example, the cargo box is made in Uruguay with 100% recycled material. At a second stage, a local plan of adaptations to the box (also made with 100% recycled material) will be developed to accommodate different types of uses. It is technically feasible to manufacture the drawer or container from recycled materials. Pressing is the right technique to create the plates that make up the walls of the drawers: cigarette butts, being a small waste of low volume and weight, could not be used in their entirety to make the plates. However, Teko (a company that supplies the recycled materials for the box) has developed an innovative technique that consists in the manufacture of plates with characteristics similar to wood, from the degradation of the cigarette butts through the use of an inoculated fungus on a bio-based substrate made from rice husk. This process makes the manufacture of large plates viable. For this preparation, a week of work is required for the fungus to develop, and then 6 hours of workshop, between pressing and manufacturing. It is estimated that the production of a box will require around 30,000 cigarette butts. Since each butt in contact with the environment can contaminate up to 50 liters of water, and release up to 7,000 toxic substances, the procedure preserves 1,500,000 litres of water.
The final design of Wheele’s vehicle has been approved. The company has also already identified the European drivetrain providers.