Meet Luca: a car made almost entirely out of waste material

Today, students from TU Eindhoven will present a car made almost entirely out of waste. The materials used to create the car include household waste, used PET bottles and even plastic from the ocean. 

The group of 22 students constructed new materials for the car by combining the waste with flax, horse hair and coconut fibers. They have called the car De Luca.

At the moment, new plastics are used in the creation of cars. By creating De Luca, the students wanted to prove to the auto-industry that waste can be used as a raw material.

The European car industry alone is responsible for the production of nearly one million tons of plastic per year.

How much is recycled?

The car is almost entirely made out of recycled waste, however the students did have to make use of some new materials. The steering wheel, pedals, electronics and windscreen are all new so as to meet safety regulations.

The rest of the car is made from recycled waste. For example, the car’s exterior is made up of flax fiber and recycled ocean plastic. The chairs are made from PET bottles and the side windows are made from recycled glass.

The students explained to the NOS that because the plastic was older than new materials, slightly more of it had to be used to achieve the required result.

The car is also electric with motors attached to the back wheels and weighs half of what the average electric car would weigh.

An exciting development for the car industry.

Auto Recycling Nederland (ARN) finds the student’s creation to be an exciting development. “A waste car like this will not be in the showroom immediately tomorrow,” says ARN employees Martijn Boelhouwer, “but I think this can be very inspiring for the industry.”

Whilst De Luca is not yet approved to drive on public roads, the students and the ARN see the prototype as a promising first step towards a more sustainable future for the auto-industry.

Are you excited for this new development in the auto-industry? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: TU Ecomotive/Supplied

Sarah O'Leary
Sarah O'Leary
Sarah originally arrived in the Netherlands due to an inability to make her own decisions — she was simply told by her mother to choose the Netherlands for Erasmus. Life here has been challenging (have you heard the language) but brilliant for Sarah, and she loves to write about it. When Sarah is not acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her sitting in a corner of Leiden with a coffee, trying to sound witty.

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