Maksym Astapov is the cofounder of GoEVCorp, a company that sells electric bicycles. Maksym is currently undergoing another environmental project called VegTabWare, tableware made out of natural vegetable material.
1. Thank you so much for sharing your story with our readers. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I have a technical education in the field of renewable energy sources (electricity). In parallel with my studies at the university, I started doing business in the field of FMCG and by the time I graduated, I decided to focus on my own business. I was often visited by thoughts: what kind of planet will we leave to our descendants? I started looking towards projects in which I can change the world, make it cleaner and greener.
2. Your first company was of GoEVCorp, where you sell electric bicycles. What was your motivation for selling e-bikes?
In 2018 I went back to the field of Electricity and took part and became a shareholder in the first eco-project related to electric bicycles. After some time, I had my own vision of what niche of electric transport to develop. So in 2021, I founded the GoEV Corp project, which produces powerful, fast and reliable enduro and all-road and outdoor bikes.
3. You have various collections of e-bikes on your website, tell us a bit about these bikes and their impact on the environment.
Thanks to the experience gained in communicating with buyers, I have formed a concept of what kind of bikes are interesting for people whose profession or hobbies are connected with electric modes of transport. Our electric bikes are zero exhaust, leave no oil stains, are very quiet, charge from a regular outlet and have a long range. In addition, our e-RUNNER model is one of the fastest in the world at 87 mph (electronically limited speed).
They are suitable for several categories of users:
- enthusiasts of outdoor activities;
- professionals who need eco-friendly a two-wheeled all-terrain vehicle to patrol large areas, while the transport must be quiet, fast and reliable. These are employees of national parks and reserves, fast delivery couriers;
- military and police.
4. What has the feedback been like? Do you have any stories of customers whose environmental impact has been significantly reduced after purchasing one of your bikes?
Thank you, this is really a very important question, many people do not think about what benefits even one e-bike can bring. Once one of my first buyers, answering a question about the reason for the purchase, gave me the following argument: on average, a vehicle emits 120 grams of CO2 per 1 km. run. This customer works 6 days in the field of delivery and drives about 150 km per day. For the year, the weight of carbon dioxide emissions exceeds 5.5 tons.
Just imagine how much cleaner our cities will be when at least some of us start using electric transport!
5. From e-bikes to tableware, your new project is VegTabWare. Tell us about what inspired you to create this product?
With the help of the first project, we were able to reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. But I’m also interested in the issue of environmental pollution from unrecycled plastic. The scale is becoming catastrophic, so the VegTabWare project will help reduce the damage to nature.
6. What are your products made out of? Are they reusable or designed to be composted after one use?
Our biodegradable tableware is made from 100% natural raw materials (sugar beet roots), safe for humans and animals, completely decomposes in 30 days and fertilizes the soil. We can replace part of plastic tableware as well as paper tableware that needs wood for production. In addition to sugar beet, our technology makes it possible to make tableware from flax, corn, hemp and other vegetable crops after extracting vegetable oils and sugars from them.
7. Are you the only company who makes tableware out of natural vegetable material? How competitive is this market?
Of course, we are not the only ones who have thought about making products from natural plant materials. But our products have undeniable advantages: they are stronger than wheat bran tableware and have a faster biodegradation period than bamboo fiber and starch tableware.
In my opinion, this market is developing very quickly, and the use of plastic for dishes, on the contrary, is declining. It may sound strange, but I don’t consider other companies that make veggie tableware as my competition. Each of us contributes to the preservation of planet Earth for future generations, and I am very grateful to them for this.
8. Your products became available this year, did you have a lot of demand for the various products before launching?
We started this project in May 2021, testing production modes and different raw material options. At the same time, we conducted serious marketing research and negotiated with large chain supermarkets, which products would be of interest to them.
We have also developed requirements for the disposal of used tableware by catering establishments in order to ensure maximum biodegradation efficiency. Regarding product options, at the start we mastered the production of various types of plates, saucers, bowls, cups.
We have just started our activity, but we have already been contacted by large supermarkets for the manufacture of special products for their needs. In the future, the range will expand, but with a few mandatory conditions: 100% natural materials, eco-friendly and consumer safety.
9. Besides launching VegTabWare so you have any other environmental projects in the works?
Yes, we have identified a few more areas where we plan to focus our efforts:
- recycling of used batteries;
- processing of plastic and oil products collected from the surface of the oceans and seas;
- support for projects related to ecology and traditional crafts in developing countries.
10. Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers?
I sincerely thank the readers and the Happy Eco News team for their interest and actions aimed at preserving the environment. I believe that each of us can contribute and help make the world a cleaner and better place.