World’s first car made from plants

World’s first car made from plants

The Dutch have got it going on when it comes to innovation, ranking in the top 5 most innovative countries this year. They have certainly earned their place with this next innovation.

Grown in the Netherlands

A team of 21 students from the Eindhoven University of Technology (one of the research universities in the Netherlands) have created their own car made from bio-composite and its name is Lina.

Lina is an extremely lightweight, four-seater car- coming in at 310 kilograms; only 30 kilograms of batteries are needed to power it. She can travel up to 80 kilometres per hour.

What exactly is it made of?

The eco-car is made of bio-composite, a material similar in strength to fibreglass but made from organic materials. In this case this is Dutch-grown flax, forming the outer layers of the sandwich panel, which makes up the chassis. Between the layers of flax there is a honeycomb structure made from biological plastic which is 100% made from sugar beets. This layer reinforces the sandwich panel and adds to the material’s lightweight qualities.

Reducing during producing

The idea was to make a car, which is lightweight, safe and eco-friendly. This is one of the reasons why flax and sugar beets were used to construct the design. Flax is locally available in the Netherlands and removes Co2 from the air as it grows – a win-win as this means less transport costs and the Co2 costs of production are already being reduced during plant growth.

Visions for the Dutch car

For the TU/ecomotive team it is not enough to make a super lightweight, sustainable car. They want to make it a car of the future. Using NFC (near-field communication) technology, the car will recognise the person opening the door by means of a code. The unique NFC code will then activate the person’s settings- such as playlists and routes recently taken.

NFC technology will make Lina suitable for car sharing, which will ultimately lead to less cars being produced, therefore making it more eco-friendly.

Speedometers and other car information will be projected on to the windscreen so that drivers can see both this and the road at the same time.

When can we take Lina for a spin?

The TU/ecomotive team hope to be able to test drive her on the roads of Eindhoven once she is deemed road-safe by the Netherlands Vehicle Authority (RDW).

Take a look at Lina in action!

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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Leave a comment

David Crowson 02:02 | 15 August 2017

Except it's not the world first; Henry Ford beat them to it by about, ooh, 80 years.

Bryan Crosby 11:44 | 2 October 2017

The student states that the outer panels are a composite with polypropylene... In which case, not really fully biodegradable, unless your burn the panels !