Are biodegradable cars the next step in environmentally-friendly motoring? A team of students at the Eindhoven University of Technology just unveiled a biodegradable car made out of beet sugar and flax. Weighing just 684 pounds, the lightweight, eco-friendly vehicle can travel up to 50 miles per hour.
According to Reuters, the only components not made of bio-based materials are the wheels and suspension system. The car is named Lina, and its lightweight frame has a similar strength-weight ratio to fiberglass.
The beet sugar plastic is crafted into a honeycomb-shaped core and then placed between two flax composite sheets. Powered by lithium-ion batteries, Lina has a power output of 8kW using 2 DC-motors.
While the biodegradable car is an applaudable invention, there are challenges with using materials intended to break down. Noud van de Gevel, the team’s leader, commented that the prototype has not yet passed crash tests as the material “will not bend like metal, but break.”
The TU/Ecomotive team intends to test drive the car once it receives the green light from the Netherlands Vehicle Authority.