Automotive

Work begins on sustainable and recyclable concept EV

Work begins on sustainable and...
The Noah concept electric city car from TU/ecomotive will be constructed over the coming months, ahead of a meet and greet tour of European cities due to kick off in June or July 2018
The Noah concept electric city car from TU/ecomotive will be constructed over the coming months, ahead of a meet and greet tour of European cities due to kick off in June or July 2018
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The Noah concept EV will be constructed using biocomposite panels with a sugarcane PLA matrix sandwiched inbetween
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The Noah concept EV will be constructed using biocomposite panels with a sugarcane PLA matrix sandwiched inbetween
The Noah concept EV has been designed to be sustainable during production and usage, and recyclable at the end of its operational life
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The Noah concept EV has been designed to be sustainable during production and usage, and recyclable at the end of its operational life
The Noah concept city car is unlikely to include many of the comforts seen in modern vehicles, but will undergo regulatory testing for roadworthiness and safety
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The Noah concept city car is unlikely to include many of the comforts seen in modern vehicles, but will undergo regulatory testing for roadworthiness and safety
The Noah concept electric city car from TU/ecomotive will be constructed over the coming months, ahead of a meet and greet tour of European cities due to kick off in June or July 2018
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The Noah concept electric city car from TU/ecomotive will be constructed over the coming months, ahead of a meet and greet tour of European cities due to kick off in June or July 2018
2017's Lina  electric four-seater was the first TU/ecomotive concept to use biocomposite and bio-plastics
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2017's Lina  electric four-seater was the first TU/ecomotive concept to use biocomposite and bio-plastics

Every year for the past few years, the ecomotive team at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands has built an electric concept city car of the future. This year's project is called Noah, and is being billed as the world's first circular car. This doesn't refer to its appearance but rather its sustainable production and usage, and its end of life recyclability.

Last year's Earth Overshoot Day was August 2, which is calculated to be the day when "humanity's demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year." The ecomotive team believes that the adoption of a circular economy – centered around smart design, using renewable resources and recycling – would help solve this over-use of resources.

The Noah (EM-05) battery electric two-seater will be fifth concept car from TU Eindhoven's ecomotive team, with last year's four-seat Lina model being the first to be constructed using biocomposite and bio-based plastics. That biocomposite was made mostly from flax, and said to have a similar strength-to-weight ratio as glass fiber.

For the 350 kg (770 lb) Noah, the biocomposite recipe has been tweaked so that it's now made up of more than 90 percent renewable materials. In previous ecomotive concepts, a matrix of polypropylene bridged the gap between two biocomposite panels. This honeycomb-like center is now made from sugarcane PLA, meaning that the PLA/biocomposite sandwich is fully recyclable. Moreover, chassis and interior panels are designed to be detachable, to make recycling or re-use easier.

The Noah concept EV has been designed to be sustainable during production and usage, and recyclable at the end of its operational life
The Noah concept EV has been designed to be sustainable during production and usage, and recyclable at the end of its operational life

The design team says that the Noah's drivetrain has been optimized for 97 percent efficiency during acceleration, and 100 percent efficiency at cruising speeds – though no data has yet been given to support those figures. We do know that the setup is expected to get the vehicle up to about 100 km/h (62 mph) and offer a total range per charge of 240 km (150 miles). And that the motors will get their power from six modular batteries that can be hotswapped for fresh ones when in need of a recharge. The design also offers the potential to make use of better batteries as and when they become available.

The concept city car will feature NFC sensors in the doors, meaning they can be unlocked using a smart device. The internal parameters can be adjusted to suit recognized occupants, and the vehicle will also feature built-in Wi-Fi – all of which hints at potential usage in car sharing services.

Now that the design has been finalized, the TU Eindhoven team will set about building the vehicle in the coming months. After that, the Noah will be put through roadworthiness and safety testing ahead of license plate application.

Assuming it passes inspection, the team will embark on a meet and greet tour of select European cities from about June/July onwards. Meanwhile, you can have a brief look at the design in the video below.

Source: TU/ecomotive

Meet Noah, world's first circular car

4 comments
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that little car is both cool looking and green.
WilliamSager
But does it pass crash test?
Mr T
Unfortunately, it looks like a throwback to the weird little cars of the 70s and 80s. The "electric cars have to be tiny and look weird" problem that has plagued the EV industry really doesn't need to be revisited.
Catweazle
"That biocomposite was made mostly from flax" The the roof, trunk lid, hood, fenders and doors of the East German Trabant introduced in 1957 were made of a plastic made from recycled cotton waste. "the Noah's drivetrain has been optimized for 97 percent efficiency during acceleration, and 100 percent efficiency at cruising speeds" Really... I'm afraid the Laws of Thermodynamics might have something to say about that. As to recyclability, most cars are predominantly composed of recyclable materials and have been since their inception, have a look at a scrapyard sometime.