EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS — A group of students from the Netherlands have built a 4-seat electric car from materials derived from sugar beets and flax, making it the world’s first biodegradable car.
Known as Lina, the car was developed by the TU/Ecomotive team at the Eindhoven University of Technology.
The chassis of Lina is made from a honeycomb core made of polylactic acid sandwiched between two flax fiber composite sheets. The structure is said to be comparable in strength to fiberglass.
“Only the wheels and suspension systems are not yet of bio-based materials,” Yanic van Riel, a member of the team told Reuters.
The biocomposite materials give the car an incredible light weight of only 300 kg, thus significantly reduces battery size in comparison to other electric cars.
Users can access the car via a smartphone or a card with NFC chip. The car is said to be able to activate the user’s personal settings, such as playlists or frequent destinations.
The prototype has not yet passed crash tests because the material will likely break upon impact. However, the developers intends to test drive the car on city streets once they receive approval from the authority.