You are looking at the world’s first bamboo and rattan roadster, a biodegradable car called the Phoenix. The Phoenix was created by product designers Kenneth Cobonpue and Albrecht Birkner and was built in just 10 days of bamboo, rattan, steel, and nylon. At 153 inches long, it is a small and elegant solution to a big and ugly problem: the waste created by old cars that outlive their purpose. “This project attempts to unveil the future of green vehicles using woven skins from organic fibers mated to composite materials and powered by green technology,” says Mr. Cobonpue. So how does it work?

Kenneth Cobonpue, Phoenix, rattan car, bamboo car, biodegradable car, sustainable transportation, green transportation, green automotive design

The Phoenix’s biodegradable skin is designed to last the average length of time a person keeps a car (5 years in industrialized countries, 10-20 years elsewhere) so that the car doesn’t create unnecessary waste by lasting longer than its owner needs it. The skin can be replaced inexpensively if the owner wishes to keep their car longer, and the Phoenix’s frame can be easily customized for individual customers’ needs. No word yet on exactly what engine or motor will power the green car, but it is small enough that an all-electric setup should provide plenty of juice to move this work of art around town.

+ Kenneth Cobonpue