Electric Cars made from Vegetables and Waste Materials

foto: Bart van Overbeeke

This week I would like to follow in Christopher’s skorchmarks with an article about electric cars.

Students at Eindhoven University of Technology have unveiled a car built almost entirely from waste materials, including lots of plastic that was reclaimed from the sea. See it in the photo above.

They call the car LUCA, and she has some impressive stats:

TOP TRUMPS

Name: LUCA

Top Speed: 90 km/h

Action Radius: 220 km

Weight: 360 kg without batteries

Battery weight: 60 kg

Consumption conversion: 180 km per litre.

It’s a two seater sports car.

The chassis is made from a mixture of flax and plastic recouped from the sea with the core constructed from recycled PET, the body is made of recycled ABS, a hard plastic used in many consumer products such as toys, televisions and kitchen products, and covered in a wrap rather than being painted.

The seats are made from recycled materials, as are the side and rear windows and the console.

The idea behind the car’s production is to demonstrate possible other uses for waste, but the team that produced LUCA have long been busy producing other interesting cars.

The University runs TU Ecomotive, 22 students from 7 different courses, whose aim is to make mobility greener in every way possible. LUCA is car number 6!

Each car boasts its own incredible stats and features, based upon its production goal.

TOP TRUMPS

Name: ISA

Action Radius: 90 km

Battery weight: 12 kg

Consumption conversion: 400 km per litre

ISA is legal to drive ion the road and is therefore the most efficient car in Europe.

NOAH is a city car made predominantly from sugar and flax, is for the modern you, and is equipped with several smart features focused on the driver. Noah can be unlocked with any smart device with an NFC chip, immediately recognizes who you are and adjusts all the interior settings to your preference, loads your contact list and finds your destination from your phone to enable the GPS and get you to your appointment on time.

TOP TRUMPS

Name: NOAH

Top speed: 110 km/h

Action Radius: 240 km

Weight: 360 kg

Consumption Conversion: 300 km per litre

Smesh Gearing and lots of interactive technology

Name: NOVA is a modular car whose body shape can be changed to suit its purpose.

Name: LINA is biobased, with the chassis and bodywork built from vegetable flax. She has 100 km range and is also certified for European roads.

All of the cars are electric, and you can download press packs and further details from the website here.

Could this be the future of mobility? A circular industry?

Ecosia 🌍

What is Ecosia?

Simply put, Ecosia is a search engine that plants trees with its profits.

💻📱 👉 💷💲 👉 🌱🌳

Which Search Engine Does Ecosia Use?

Ecosia is an organisation and search engine in its own right, but its results are powered by Microsoft Bing. Bing itself is carbon neutral and the whole of Microsoft are looking to go green by committing to be carbon negative by 2030.

How Green is Ecosia?

Ecosia recognise the impact the internet has on the environment of our planet. Ecosia runs on renewable energy, meaning your searches aren’t negatively impacting the planet.

“If the internet were a country it would rank #3 in the world in terms of electricity consumption” – Ecosia, 2018

In fact, searching with Ecosia is actually positively impacting the planet, with each search removing CO2 from the atmosphere. How? Because they plant trees with their profits.

As mentioned above, Bing (which powers Ecosia) is carbon neutral, so searching using Ecosia is a win-win from the perspective of your carbon footprint 👣

How Does Ecosia Make Money?

Like Google, Ecosia don’t make money from search results, they make their revenue from the ads that sit alongside the results.

Every time you click on an advert on Ecosia, you contribute to their revenue, which ultimately leads to trees being planted somewhere around the world

Ecosia tree tracker

They have a helpful counter on their search results to show you how many trees you’ve personally contributed towards.

So far they have planted over 100 million trees worldwide, supporting projects in 15 countries.

Why am I Promoting Ecosia?

The reason I wrote this article is because I think Ecosia awesome. They’re an organisation trying really hard to do the right thing and they’re clearly having an impact.

Congrats Ecosia on your success and thank you for what you’re doing for the world 🙏🎉🎊

Ecosia.org 🌍 give it a go 😊

The Future of Solar Energy

Sol-Term

Travelling Through Morocco

20 years ago my father retired from work, and to celebrate he gave me and my brothers £1000 each. I went to university and sat next to my buddy Sam, and asked her if she fancied going to spend the money on a holiday. I skateboarded to my favourite travel agents and booked flights to Morocco.

6 weeks, a long road trip. We divided the remaining money into daily allowance, $20 US per day. Not really enough. Well enough to eat, or travel, but not eat and travel. So on days that we travelled we only ate once, and on other days we ate twice. Not a lot though.

Anyway we wanted to go and see the sahara. We went from Casablanca via Radat and Meknes, down through Azru and all the way to Merzuga. It’s quite a thing to see. Then to Ouarzazate.

Now the Marocco of 20 years ago is not the country of today. And we were poor. We did not have enough money to take the national bus lines, we took the local buses, no windows, animals on the roof tied into canvas bags, goats inside. Today Ouarzazate is a world leader in solar energy.

Desert Solar Energy

Morocco wants to become a world leader in solar energy production. The development that is underway and newly online will eventually provide 20% of the country’s energy needs. It will be the largest concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in the world. The mirror technology it uses is different from the photovoltaic panels that we see on roofs the world over, but it will have the advantage of being able to continue producing power even after the sun goes down.

The system uses mirrors to heat an oil, known as heat transfer solution (HTF). Each parabolic mirror is 12 metres high and focussed on a steel pipeline carrying HTF that is warmed to 393C. It then goes into a heat transfer plant, is mixed with water that turns into steam and drives turbines.

In order to operate after dark excess heat is used to turn sand molten, the heat being released overnight allowing the plant to function for a few hours longer, and the plan is that in a couple of years time it will be able to operate 24 hours a day.

Distribution

If Morocco becomes self sufficient through solar wind and hydro, they will look towards exporting. There have been several projects involving laying power lines from North Africa into europe (Libia to italy comes to mind) but as far as I know nothing is currently operational.

For more details check out this article in the Guardian.