Students Build a Whole Car from Recycled Plastic – the Luca EV


On October 8, engineering students at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands unveiled their latest “Ecomotive” project, Luca. This tiny EV represents the latest and greatest in sustainable mobility, or sustaimobility, as it really ought to be called.

The car’s body, windows, interior, and even chassis, are made from recycled plastic that the team just found lying around. Some of it was pulled directly from the ocean, where plastic waste is a serious pollutant and health hazard to local wildlife.

The idea for a recycled car first came about in February of 2019, with the students producing a digitally-rendered concept of the vehicle the following December. During this design process, the team partnered with manufacturers like Van Wees and Econcore to figure out how old toothbrushes and water bottles can be turned into a fully-functioning Luca.

Then Eindhoven spent 2020 collecting hundreds of pounds of plastic litter, re-manufacturing it into useful components, and finally showing off the finished car this month.

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