Students from TU Eindhoven have recently presented a car almost entirely made out of waste materials. Items like PET bottles, plastic from the ocean, and household waste items were reused to create the car. A group of 22 students collaborated to construct new materials by combining the waste with horsehair, coconut fibers, and flax. The waste material car has been named De Luca.
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Currently, new plastic is used in most car production methods. With De Luca, the Eindhoven students wanted to find a way to reuse waste materials as the raw material for building cars. The European car industry is currently producing one million tons of plastic each year. If recycled plastic can be used in the place of new plastic, pollution can be significantly reduced.
Eindhoven students present a car made from waste – https://t.co/hYlzrBGBf4
— Arthur ten Wolde (@ArthurtenWolde) October 8, 2020
How Much Waste Materials Used?
Although most of the car material came from recycled waste, some new materials had to be used by the students. In order to meet safety guidelines, the students used new materials for the pedals, steering wheel, and windscreen. But other parts like the exterior are completely made of recycled ocean plastic and flax fiber. The seats are made from recycled PET bottles while the side windows of the car are made from recycled glass.
The Eindhoven students explained to NOS how they had to use more of the recycled plastic since it was older than the new materials. De Luca weighs half of an average electric car. It runs on electricity, with the motors attached to its back wheels.
Auto Recycling Nederland (ARN) has praised the efforts of the students and De Luca. Martijn Boelhouwer said that a car made mostly out of waste materials won’t populate showrooms immediately. But the idea and execution show promise. Boelhouwer found the car particularly inspiring for the auto industry.
De Luca is yet to receive authorization to ply on public roads. But the Eindhoven students, as well as ARN, have great faith in the prototype and its concept. They are exciting for a more sustainable future with more such electric cars made from recycled waste materials.
All images credit: Bart van Overbeeke