Students Build Electric Car Made Entirely From Recycled Materials

A new electric vehicle — nicknamed Luca — made entirely out of recycled waste.

A new electric vehicle — nicknamed Luca — made entirely out of recycled waste. Bart Van Overbeeke

A team of Dutch students has created an electric vehicle made entirely out of waste, from plastics recycled from the ocean to household trash. The two-seater car has a top speed of 56 miles per hour and can travel as far 137 miles on a single charge, Reuters reported.

The vehicle — nicknamed Luca — was created by students at the Technical University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands as part of a project to demonstrate the innovative ways industries can find new uses for the 2.1 billion tons of waste the world generates each year. The new car’s chassis is made out of flax and PET bottles recycled from the ocean; its interior from unsorted household waste; and its exterior from hard plastics typically found in things like televisions and appliances. The car’s seat cushions are made from coconut and horsehair. The side and rear windows are also made from recycled materials. Even the car’s distinctive sunshine yellow color is a foil made from recycled materials, rather than paint.

The car is powered by two motors, one on each axle, and electricity is drawn from six batteries scavenged from broken-down vehicles. The students have requested a license to be able to legally drive the car on Dutch roads, The Jerusalem Post reported.

“We really hope that car companies will start using waste materials,” production team member Matthijs van Wijk told Reuters. “It’s possible in many applications. More and more companies use waste or bio-based materials in the interior, we want to show that it’s also possible to build a chassis out of it.”