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

"Globally, we're starting to see examples of retailers moving away from plastics and throwaway packaging, but not at the urgency and scale needed to address this crisis." Greenpeace

By Jake Johnson

A Greenpeace report released Tuesday uses a hypothetical "Smart Supermarket" that has done away with environmentally damaging single-use plastics to outline a possible future in which the world's oceans and communities are free of bags, bottles, packaging and other harmful plastic pollutants.

Read More Show Less
Children are forced to wear masks due to the toxic smoke from peat land fires in Indonesia. Aulia Erlangga / CIFOR

By Irene Banos Ruiz

Pediatricians in New Delhi, India, say children's lungs are no longer pink, but black.

Our warming planet is already impacting the health of the world's children and will shape the future of an entire generation if we fail to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius (35.6°F), the 2019 Lancet Countdown Report on health and climate change shows.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Private homes surround a 20 inch gas liquids pipeline which is part of the Mariner East II project on Oct. 5, 2017 in Marchwood, Penn. Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images

The FBI is looking into how the state of Pennsylvania granted permits for a controversial natural gas pipeline as part of a corruption investigation, the AP reports.

Read More Show Less
Three cows who were washed off their North Carolina island by Hurricane Dorian have been found alive after swimming at least two miles. Carolina Wild Ones / Facebook

Three cows who were washed off their North Carolina island by Hurricane Dorian have been found alive after swimming at least two miles, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
The Dakota Access pipeline being built in Iowa. Carl Wycoff / CC BY 2.0

The fight between the Standing Rock Sioux and the owners of the Dakota Access Pipeline is back on, as the tribe opposes a pipeline expansion that it argues would increase the risk of an oil spill.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Scanning electron micrograph of Yersinia pestis, which causes bubonic plague, on proventricular spines of a Xenopsylla cheopis flea. NIAID / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

A middle-aged married couple in China was diagnosed with pneumonic plague, a highly infectious disease similar to bubonic plague, which ravaged Europe in the middle ages, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Milk made from almonds, oats and coconut are among the healthiest alternatives to cow's milk. triocean / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Dairy aisles have exploded with milk and milk alternative options over the past few years, and choosing the healthiest milk isn't just about the fat content.

Whether you're looking beyond cow's milk for health reasons or dietary preferences or simply want to experiment with different options, you may wonder which type of milk is healthiest for you.

Read More Show Less
Greta Thunberg stands aboard the catamaran La Vagabonde as she sets sail to Europe in Hampton, Virginia, on Nov. 13. NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP via Getty Images

Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist whose weekly school strikes have spurred global demonstrations, has cut short her tour of the Americas and set sail for Europe to attend COP25 in Madrid next month, as The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less