Automotive

Luca concept car will be built using plastic waste

Luca concept car will be built...
The Luca concept electric car is being developed to demonstrate that waste is a valuable resource
The Luca concept electric car is being developed to demonstrate that waste is a valuable resource
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The chassis is to be made from a mix of flax and recycled ocean plastic
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The chassis is to be made from a mix of flax and recycled ocean plastic
The Luca concept will have two in-wheel motors and six modular battery packs
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The Luca concept will have two in-wheel motors and six modular battery packs
The Luca concept electric car is being developed to demonstrate that waste is a valuable resource
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The Luca concept electric car is being developed to demonstrate that waste is a valuable resource
The body will be made using a new material that combines a plastic additive made by Israeli startup UBQ with recycled polypropylene
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The body will be made using a new material that combines a plastic additive made by Israeli startup UBQ with recycled polypropylene
The Luce concept car will be the sixth vehicle developed by TU/ecomotive
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The Luce concept car will be the sixth vehicle developed by TU/ecomotive
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For its sixth concept vehicle, the ecomotive team at the Eindhoven University of Technology will build Luca – a sporty compact EV that's built using a bio-based composite that includes plastic waste reclaimed from the ocean.

The focus of the TU team's previous design concept was sustainability and end-of-life recyclability. This year's project is aimed at reusing materials that are otherwise thrown away, and in doing so show that waste can be a valuable resource.

As the world's human population approaches 8 billion, we need to do more to reduce resource consumption while also better handling our waste, which currently ends up in our rivers and oceans, pumped into the air at incineration plants, or gathered in methane-belching landfill sites. The Eindhoven ecomotive team "does not see it as waste but as a valuable material that can still be used for many applications."

The idea is to implement as much waste as possible when building the Luca concept car. Its chassis is to be made using a composite material with reclaimed polyethylene terephthalate (PET) sandwiched between outer layers of flax. The body will be formed using a new material being developed in collaboration with Israeli startup UBQ, which will combine its additive derived from household waste with recycled polypropylene (PP). There will also be recycled aluminum spaceframes front and rear.

Plans call for two in-wheel motors (15 kW combined) and six battery packs for a target battery-to-wheel efficiency of up to 92 percent. The batteries are modular in nature, so can be swapped out for more efficient units as and when the technology advances.

Inside, the Luca concept is to have two custom-made seats installed and, since the design team believes that putting huge infotainment displays in the front of the vehicle is a waste of resources, the vehicle will leverage the power of a smartphone for info and entertainment needs, though a head-up display will provide line-of-sight navigation aids.

Work on the build has started, and the team is aiming for completion by June – when Luca will (hopefully) have been judged road legal by the authorities and begin a promotional tour.

Source: TU/ecomotive

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2 comments
DavidB
Give it an estimated 250-mile range, and I’d trade in my current, third EV. Save the two-door EV!
buzzclick
Far as I know, ABS, PVC and poly-carbonate are the only plastic polymers that are UV resistant, and not much of those types end up in the ocean compared with the other plastics. So unless the car is painted with some kind of durable coating, it's gonna look pretty bad in a year or two.