Dutch students build electric car almost entirely from recycled materials

Dutch students have created a fully functioning electric car made entirely out of waste, including plastics fished out of the sea, recycled plastic bottles and unsorted household garbage.

Chassis made of flax, recycled plastic bottles; interior made from unsorted household waste

Dutch students build electric car from recycling and garbage

2 years ago
Duration 1:36
Twenty-two Dutch students have designed and built an electric car made almost entirely from recycling, household garbage and salvaged auto parts.

Dutch students have created a fully functioning electric car made entirely out of waste, including plastics fished out of the sea, recycled plastic bottles and household garbage.

The bright yellow, sporty two-seater, which the students named "Luca," can reach a top speed of 90 kilometres per hour and has a reach of 220 kilometres when fully charged, the Technical University of Eindhoven said.

"This car is really special," project manager Lisa van Etten said.

"Our chassis is made out of flax and recycled PET bottles. For the interior we also used unsorted household waste."

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is in plastic bottles and other kinds of food packaging. 

Hard plastics normally found in televisions, toys and kitchen appliances were used for the car's body, while the seat cushions consist of coconut and horse hair.

The car was designed and built by a group of 22 students in around 18 months, Van Etten said, as an effort to prove the potential of waste.

"We really hope that car companies will start using waste materials," said production team member Matthijs van Wijk.

"It's possible in many applications. More and more companies use waste or biobased materials in the interior, we want to show that it's also possible to build a chassis out of it."

Not all materials on the vehicle could be sourced from waste. The car uses six modular batteries and has new tires. While the group contacted companies that are developing biodegradable tires, those products were not ready yet for use, he said.

"The motors are purchased, since we simply do not have the manpower to develop our own motors," said van Wijk.


  • A previous version of this story stated that the electric car was made "entirely out of waste." This has been updated to include more details of the vehicle's non-recycled materials.
    Nov 24, 2020 9:42 AM ET

With files from CBC News

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