Quantcast

Dutch Students Design Biodegradable Electric Car

Science
TU/Ecomotive

Students in the Netherlands have built a biodegradable electric car that seats up to four people and can travel at 50 miles (80 km) per hour.

The "Lina" is said to be the world's first biocomposite car.


According to Composites Manufacturing magazine, the Lina only weighs 660 pounds, as its chassis consists of a honeycomb core made of polylactic acid (a completely biodegradable resin derived from sugar beets) sandwiched between two flax fiber composite sheets, giving the car a strength to weight ratio similar to glass fiber.

"Only the wheels and suspension systems are not yet of bio-based materials," Yanic van Riel, one of the developers from the TU/Ecomotive team at the Eindhoven University of Technology, told Reuters.

The car's frame is made of sugar beet resin sandwiched between Dutch-grown flax.TU/Ecomotive

Another advantage of the car's light weight is that it significantly reduces battery size. Team leader Noud van de Gevel said only 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of battery packs were needed to power the Lina for a range of about 100 kilometers (62 miles).

That's "about four times more efficient than the BMW i3 ... and that's in real city driving, [which includes] breaking, stopping and accelerating," he quipped.

Van de Gevel told Reuters that the prototype has not yet passed crash tests as the material "will not bend like metal, but break."

The group intends to test drive the Lina later this year on city streets once it's approved by the Netherlands Vehicle Authority.

Watch here to see the car in motion:

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Jared Kaufman

Eating a better diet has been linked with lower levels of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. But unfortunately 821 million people — about 1 in 9 worldwide — face hunger, and roughly 2 billion people worldwide are overweight or obese, according to the U.N. World Health Organization. In addition, food insecurity is associated with even higher health care costs in the U.S., particularly among older people. To help direct worldwide focus toward solving these issues, the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals call for the elimination of hunger, food insecurity and undernutrition by 2030.

Read More Show Less
Healthline

Made from the freshly sprouted leaves of Triticum aestivum, wheatgrass is known for its nutrient-dense and powerful antioxidant properties.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less

mevans / E+ / Getty Images

The federal agency that manages the Great Barrier Reef issued an unprecedented statement that broke ranks with Australia's conservative government and called for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Guardian.

Read More Show Less

A powerful earthquake struck near Athens, Greece and shook the capital city for 15 seconds on Friday, causing people to run into the streets to escape the threat of falling buildings, NBC News reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
U.S. government scientists concluded in a new report that last month was the hottest June on record. Angelo Juan Ramos / Flickr

By Jessica Corbett

As meteorologists warned Thursday that temperatures above 100°F are expected to impact two-thirds of the country this weekend, U.S. government scientists revealed that last month was the hottest June ever recorded — bolstering calls for radical global action on the climate emergency.

Read More Show Less
Rod Waddington / CC BY-SA 2.0

By John R. Platt

For years now conservationists have warned that many of Madagascar's iconic lemur species face the risk of extinction due to rampant deforestation, the illegal pet trade and the emerging market for the primates' meat.

Yes, people eat lemurs, and the reasons they do aren't exactly what we might expect.

Read More Show Less
Pixnio

By Rachael Link, MS, RD

Many types of flour are commonly available on the shelves of your local supermarket.

Read More Show Less