The Dutch scientists from the Eindhoven University of Technology have developed a concept for a compact sports EV made from recycled ocean plastic. A significant portion of the machine is supposed to be made from the plastic waste disposed of from the ocean.
According to the team, the Luca project is designed not only to make electric cars cheaper but also to show that this waste can also be a valuable resource.
Humanity creates 2.1 billion tons of waste annually, of which 70% ends up in landfills. By using the recycled materials in the car, the team Luca wants to address this problem of waste in the world and to increase the percentage of materials that are being recycled.
As per the description of the concept, the chassis of the machine will be made of a unique sandwich panel using a rigid and durable composite material consisting of 100% recycled PET. The ‘skins’ of this panel will be made out of flax fibers impregnated with polypropylene, which is recycled from plastics coming straight out the ocean. And the body will also be made of the mixture of recycled polypropylene and “UBQ” materials. UBQ is an Israeli-based cleantech company that converts unsorted household waste into a bio-based raw material. The metal components of the hull and chassis are planned to be made from the recycled metal of decommissioned aircraft and spacecraft.
The Luca electric car will have room for two persons and be driven by two fully electric in-wheel motors located in the rear wheels with a combined power of 15 kW. This type of motors prevents losses in the drivetrain and can reach a battery-to-wheel efficiency of up to 92%. These two motors will be powered by six modular batteries that can easily be replaced either with full batteries or even with new batteries when better technology is available.
There are no huge infotainment displays inside the Luca interior, as the developers consider this as a waste of resources. Instead, the car will sync with your smartphone or tablet for information and entertainment needs. When connected, the gadget turns into a remote control for the audio system and other secondary entertainment options.
While Luca exists only on paper, but this is not just a bold concept. University engineers have already begun to create a working prototype of the machine. It is assumed that he will be ready in June 2020.