Urban Transport

ZUV electric cargo trike 3D printed from recycled plastic waste

ZUV electric cargo trike 3D pr...
The ZUV's chassis is 3D printed using plastic waste from supermarkets
The ZUV's chassis is 3D printed using plastic waste from supermarkets
View 12 Images
The ZUV's chassis is 3D printed using plastic waste from supermarkets
1/12
The ZUV's chassis is 3D printed using plastic waste from supermarkets
No pedals here, the ZUV electric cargo trike is motor only
2/12
No pedals here, the ZUV electric cargo trike is motor only
The ZUV has a total laden weight of 300 kg
3/12
The ZUV has a total laden weight of 300 kg
The flat lid of the cargo box can accommodate more packages outside, secured in place with straps
4/12
The flat lid of the cargo box can accommodate more packages outside, secured in place with straps
The 3D-printed chassis includes recesses for integrated lighting front and back
5/12
The 3D-printed chassis includes recesses for integrated lighting front and back
The rear-hub motor offers a top speed of 25.5 km/h
6/12
The rear-hub motor offers a top speed of 25.5 km/h
The charging port is located in the footwell, on the side of the cargo box
7/12
The charging port is located in the footwell, on the side of the cargo box
The New Raw used 70 kg of supermarket plastic waste to 3D print the ZUV's chassis
8/12
The New Raw used 70 kg of supermarket plastic waste to 3D print the ZUV's chassis
The ZUV's body was 3D printed at an angle to reduce the need for structural supports
9/12
The ZUV's body was 3D printed at an angle to reduce the need for structural supports
The New Raw studio printing the ZUV body from post-consumer plastic waste
10/12
The New Raw studio printing the ZUV body from post-consumer plastic waste
The ZUV chassis taking shape
11/12
The ZUV chassis taking shape
Recesses were included in the design to accommodate integrated lighting
12/12
Recesses were included in the design to accommodate integrated lighting
View gallery - 12 images

Single-use plastic packaging may help keep produce fresh, but subsequently becomes a huge environmental problem when tossed in the trash. Looking to repurpose waste from our throw-away society, a social enterprise/industrial design studio has created an electric cargo trike concept with a chassis 3D printed from supermarket plastic waste.

Plastic waste is a gargantuan problem, with a recent study projecting that 1.3 billion tonnes could be dumped on land and in the oceans by 2040. We desperately need to clean up our act, and there are efforts underway to try and clean up the trash already polluting the environment, as well as projects looking to give plastic waste a second life.

The ZUV has a total laden weight of 300 kg
The ZUV has a total laden weight of 300 kg

A recent design study from the social and sustainable arm of Austria's EOOS studio puts plastic waste from supermarkets to use for an electric cargo trike called the ZUV – or Zero-emission Utility Vehicle.

Commissioned by the Museum für angewandte Kunst Wien (MAK) for the Vienna Biennale for Change 2021's Climate Care exhibition, the idea was to come up with an e-mobility concept where the chassis could be produced locally and inexpensively, and then components sourced from local bike or moto workshops bolted on to "simplify service, customization, repair, and upgrades."

EOOS NEXT collaborated with Rotterdam's The New Raw research and design studio, which transformed 70 kg (154 lb) of recycled plastic raw material into the cargo bike's body, seating for two and storage box using industrial 3D-printing robots – printing the material at an angle so that almost no supports were need during the process.

The ZUV's body was 3D printed at an angle to reduce the need for structural supports
The ZUV's body was 3D printed at an angle to reduce the need for structural supports

A tricycle design was chosen for stability on urban streets or off the beaten track, and the ribbed chassis secured to the trike's frame. The rear wheel is home to an unspecified hub motor for a throttle-only top speed of 25 km/h (15.5 mph), since it's a European concept, but no doubt more powerful motors could be installed where such limits don't apply. The onboard battery offers a per-charge range of 50 km (31 miles).

The ZUV's handlebar column is positioned in the middle of the electric cargo trike, steering the front wheels – each of the three wheels coming with disc braking and thick tires. Recesses in the front and rear of the chassis host tube lighting.

The electric cargo trike measures 62 x 190 x 55 cm (24.4 x 74.8 x 21.6 in), its total naked weight comes in at 100 kg (220 lb), but it can accommodate a laden weight of up to 300 kg (661 lb). The top of cargo box can be strapped on to keep contents secure and dry, or removed when transporting the kids to school.

The rear-hub motor offers a top speed of 25.5 km/h
The rear-hub motor offers a top speed of 25.5 km/h

Though the body of this concept has been 3D printed, EOOS NEXT does say that plastic rotational molding could be employed instead, with the molds potentially welded together to form the whole using sheet metal scraps. However, those involved in the project make no mention of taking the design into production themselves.

The ZUV is part of the Climate Care exhibition at the Vienna Biennale for Change 2021, which runs until October 3.

Source: EOOS NEXT

View gallery - 12 images
4 comments
4 comments
paul314
I particularly like the size of the nozzle and layers they used. No reason to print something like that in 0.4mm slices.
jerryd
While this is an ugly hard to clean joke, reusing plastics using molds is a great way to do it. Especially with PET you can make cars, etc.
Why don't they have a forming piece on the nozzle to make the flow square and flush vs that weak, ugly hard to clean dirt magnet they use?
TomLeeM
I agree with the other post in that it is not the prettiest thing around. perhaps with smoother sides, it would be better looking? It doesn't look very comfortable to ride. Perhaps some kind of cushioned seat would help?
Lee Bell
It's a good thing they don't plan to make and sell it. I also agree that it's definitely a dirt magnet. To me it looks like something some high school kid came up with for a final grade shop project. Recycling plastic is a good thing but this isn't the best or even a good way to go about it. It doesn't even qualify as a bicycle/trike as it has no pedals so it couldn't even be used on bike paths or trails. It's an overweight, underpowered, no seat(?) moped or scooter and would have to have a tag and insurance in most places except for the fact you probably cannot get the paperwork required to even get a tag for this. Where I live at in North Carolina USA you wouldn't even be able to legally ride this on the road either unless you are disabled and called it a mobility scooter. It's an interesting idea but no, just no...