Students at the Eindhoven University of Technology have produced a car made entirely out of waste products, including plastic recovered from the ocean. Other waste materials include horse hair, coconut fibres and flax.
The Luca, as the car has been dubbed, has two electric motors, a range of 220 kilometres and a top speed of 90 kph.
It took 22 students 18 months to build the car which, they said, is a demonstration to the car industry of how to use waste as a resource.
The students were surprised some of the plastic which had been in the ocean for years, could still be used. ‘That was a real kick,’ one of the students told broadcaster Nos.
The use of plastic bottles in the chairs is also a way of making the recycled material last longer, student Sietze Gelderloos said. ‘The plastic of a disposable bottle can be recycled perhaps 10 times. Use it in 10 cars and it’ll last 100 years.’
Car recycling organisation ARN said the project could be ‘an inspiration for car manufacturers’.
Dozens of different sorts of plastics are used to make new cars in Europe, spokesman Martijn Boelhouwer said, and that translates to a million tonnes a year. And while cars are almost completely recycled, not all the material is used to build new cars, he said.
The Luca will not be seen on Dutch roads any time soon although the students are planning to have the car tested for road-worthiness.
‘There are a number of things that will have to be tested, such as fire safety and performance in different weather conditions. But we dare to dream and that is why we have taken the first step,’ Gelderloos said.
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