You Think Your Car Is Green? Well, Is It Made Out of Flax?

Most people see owning a battery-powered electric vehicle as the epitome of green mobility. If they also happen to have some solar panels on the roof of their house, then it's all the better.
Lina, the bio car 1 photo
Photo: TU/ecomotive
A group of Dutch engineering students sees things differently. They believe the powertrain itself is only half of the problem, with the other half being, well, the rest of the vehicle. And I think we can all agree there's plenty of it.

To be fair, other companies have tackled the matter as well, one of them being BMW with its i3 electric city car. The tiny Bavarian EV made use of a lot of recycled and recyclable materials, some of which gave it a very non-BMW cheap feel. But at least it also offered its owners something to talk about during boring dinner parties.

"Did you know the door panels in my car are made out of recycled plastic bottles? No, of course you didn't. You were too busy destroying our planet with your V8-powered SUV." Well, I didn't say the dinner party would last too long.

Following the same thought process, a group of Dutch students from the Eindhoven University of Technology has created an electric car that's made entirely from recyclable, natural bio-based materials. That means even the chassis, the bodywork or the inside of the vehicle are made of natural materials.

Nickname Lina, the vehicle is supposedly road-legal (at least in Holland it is) and can carry up to four adults. Which it better be doing on a windy day, because at just 661 lb (300 kg), it is incredibly lightweight.

As you can see in the picture, Lina isn't exactly a looker, but it's safe to assume design wasn't the group's primary concern. Besides, they're engineers, so what would you expect? They were much more interested in finding ways to build the bodywork out of flax, for example, which they did.

The project was backed by NPX, a Dutch manufacturer of automotive semiconductors, who was the financial driving force behind it. “It is a wish, at the moment, that the automotive industry will explore ways of reducing the use of energy in its products,” said NPX Vice President Olivier Cottereau, quoted by WardsAuto.

“Of course, it’s still an uncertainty because everything has to be rigorously proven in terms of crash testing and other regulatory standards that have to be complied with," he continued. "Right now we have to continue to push and help innovation and show that we can improve the industry.”

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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