The TU / e team today unveiled the Luca electric concept car, which largely consists of waste. And this is not only about recycled materials. “It is also waste that ends up in large piles”, says project manager Lisa van Etten. “For example, we processed plastic from the ocean. Of course we also have certain parts from recycled waste. It’s a combination.”
Some car manufacturers already work with recycled materials. For example, Audi uses PET bottles in the lining of the new A3 and Fisker made mats from fishing nets. But the team behind Luca goes much further. The frame of the Luca is made of flax and plastic waste. “Flax has fibers that are strong enough to make a chassis. In addition to the interior, we use it for structural parts of the car, which you do not yet see in others,” says Van Etten.
The body, interior and windows are made up of, among other things, PET bottles, household waste and the type of hard plastic that is in toys or kitchen products. The yellow lacquer is a colored foil, which is also easy to remove completely.
Light but not very fast
The car has the design of a sports car and offers space for two people, but it does not go fast. The maximum speed is 90 km / h.
The battery packs together weigh only 60 kilos, which is hundreds of kilos with normal electric cars. The range is 220 kilometers. The batteries must be easily interchangeable.
Show that it is possible
The students still have to apply for a license plate for Luca. The car is not intended to go into production any time soon, says Van Etten. “I don’t think in the short term. Certainly not in five years.”
The prototype mainly serves as an example of what is possible with waste. “We want to make sustainability sexy with a beautiful car. We want to show that much more is possible with other materials than the standard materials that are now available. And not only for the car industry, but also for other industries.”
She hopes that other manufacturers will one day use waste on a large scale in their vehicles. “We have shown that it is possible.”