Design Presentation Luca: Embrace waste!

On Thursday, December 12th we revealed Luca at the Eindhoven University of Technology. Luca will be the sixth car of the TU/ecomotive family and is our vision for what we believe will be sustainable mobility for a sustainable future.

Embrace waste! This is the concept around which Luca will be created. With Luca we want to address the problem of waste in the world: Each year we generate 2,100,000,000 tons of waste, of which 70% ends up in landfills. By using recycled materials in the car, we want to stimulate the recycling process of all materials and increase the percentage of materials that are being recycled. However, this alone will not solve the problem since there are already tons of waste both in the ocean and in landfills. So by using materials from these sources, we want to show that this waste can also be a valuable resource.

This will be implemented as follows: The chassis will be made of a unique sandwich panel. Whereas last year, new PLA was used to make the honeycomb structure inside the panel, this year we will be using 100% recycled PET. The ‘skins’ of this panel will be made out of flax fibers impregnated with polypropylene, which is recycled from plastics coming straight out the ocean. The body of the car will also be made out of a special material. This will be a mix of recycled polypropylene and “UBQ”. UBQ is an Israeli start-up that makes plastic out of household waste, which usually ends up in landfill.

Besides the production process, we also want to focus on the other life-cycles of the car. Luca will have two fully electric in-wheel motors in the rear wheels. By using this type of motor we prevent losses in the drivetrain and can reach a battery-to-wheel efficiency of up to 92%. For comparison, a ‘normal’ gasoline car has a tank-to-wheel efficiency of approximately 16% and a ‘normal’ electric car a battery-to-wheel efficiency of approximately 70%. These two motors will be powered by six modular batteries that can easily be swapped for either full batteries or even new batteries when better technology is available.

The final life cycle will be the recycling of the car. Since the car is made out of materials that are already recycled, it will also be possible to recycle these materials again. To improve the effectivity of this process, we will make sure that the materials can be easily separated so we can have materials of the purest form without pollution.

During the coming months, we are going to realize this design and build the car together with our partners. We also want to make the car road legal to prove that it is possible to build ‘real’ cars out of these innovative materials. Luca will be ready in June 2020 to be revealed to the world to show, what we believe, is the future of mobility.