Date:22 May 2017
Would you drive a car made from plants? Sounds bizarre, doesn’t it. Well, Lina is not your typical car.
A team of students from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands designed the world’s first bio-based eco-motive vehicle, called Lina. This bio-composite car’s bodywork and interior is made from flax fibres and biodegradable natural materials.
Lina was built using a combination of bio-composite and bio-plastic materials. A honeycomb bio-plastic structure is used as the core material and was manufactured from sugar beet. The core structure is then covered in bio-composite sheets made from flax which grows in the Netherlands. When compressed, flax fibres have a strong structure similar to carbon or aluminium – the materials used in the manufacturing of cars. The plant could serve as a viable alternative to aluminium and carbon, because it has a lower energy and production cost. Flax is also a renewable material that is lightweight and can be recycled.
Lina is electric-powered and weighs only 300 kilograms. This means the car is super-efficient and uses energy at a slower rate than other electric vehicles. Lina is built for the city and can only reach a maximum speed of 85 kilometres per hour. The car is certified by the Netherlands Vehicle Authority as roadworthy and is suitable to carry up to four people. All Lina needs now is a number plate to drive on public roads.
In the video above the students unveiled their masterpiece at an exhibition on campus.
Its unlikely (but not impossible) that the car industry will build cars made from bio-based materials like Lina just yet. But there’s definitely a future for bio-composite cars.
Image and video credit: Eindhoven University of Technology