A start

How do your children get to school? In most municipalities today, the municipal authorities favor what are called soft links. Walk, pedibus, bike, bus running on bio CNG, etc. In Normandy, from next April, you could see a strange machine, the Woodybus. This new mode of School transportationinvented by the Nantes-based start-up Humbird, wishes revolutionize school transport. The goal of the Woodybus, an electric wooden bicycle, is to decarbonize school transport and several communities are already showing interest in this ecological alternative. Discovery.

What is the Woodybus?

This eco-friendly school bus therefore wants decarbonize school trips, and with its vintage look, indeed, it will not go unnoticed. The Nantes invention can accommodate up to eight children and transport them from one point to another at a cruising speed of 20 km/h. The idea is not to have a single driver, but to get everyone to contribute since the children will also ride to school. The Woodybus obtained its approval at the end of last year, a guarantee of safety for the children who will soon be using it. To our knowledge, this is a first in FranceExplain Jean-Francois Robertco-director of the Nantes start-up Humbird, in an interview with the newspaper 20 minutes.

An ecological vehicle intended for primary schools. Photo credit: Humbrid (Facebook screenshot)

Why could the Woodybus revolutionize school transport?

For the inventor of this new concept, the need for reduce the ecological footprint of school transport is strong. Indeed, many children are driven to school in old polluting buses, and on short journeys. The problem being that the use of cycle paths for this type of vehicle is sometimes very complicated. Jean-Francois Robert, co-director and ex-engineer specializing in racing motorcycles, therefore worked on a transport vehicle that could use cycle lanes. It is then towards a somewhat redesigned “electric bicycle”, which weighs only 200 kilos and measures only 3.50 meters long by 1.15 meters wide, that he offers an alternative to polluting buses.

Is the school transport revolution underway?

The Nantes invention works thanks to two batteries, solar panels installed on the roof, and an innovative patent-pending transmission system. All the pedals are independent and he can even go backwards without having to go down to push it! ” In some areas, we move a bus for a few kilometers and a few students, which is a real shame”Explain Jeremy Jeusset, the second co-director of the start-up. And, indeed, in certain villages, two or three children share a bus which runs on diesel for 3 or 4 km… A heresy at a time when everyone is trying to reduce their carbon footprint, isn’t it?

In this vehicle, all passengers pedal.
In this vehicle, all passengers pedal. Photo credit: Humbrid (Facebook screenshot)

What future for the Woodybus?

If we are to believe the figures put forward by the start-up, about forty Woodybuses are already on order and assembly has already begun in the new Nantes coworking space, the S Factory. Built from maritime pines from New Aquitaine, the Woodybus therefore chooses made in France for its invention. Sold for €19,500 excluding taxes, the company hopes to produce around thirty Woodybuses each year. The two inventors, meanwhile, are already working on an adult version with six seats, which could allow movement in amusement parks or tourist sites. More information : humbird.com

A start-up invents the Woodybus, a vehicle intended for school transport where all passengers pedal