Get your parents to make the switch!

| September 5, 2017 | 0 Comments

The morning school run, with parents stuck in polluted traffic jams, may look very different in a couple of decades’ time. Britain announced in July 2017 that it will ban the sale of new gas and diesel cars in 2040. France has made the same call, and Norway, the Netherlands, India, Paris, Mexico City and Athens are considering it. In the foreseeable future, the transition will involve moving to cars that run on a combination of petroleum and electricity, and then restricting motorists to cars that run only on electricity. It will take scientists and auto manufacturers some time to perfect the new technologies.

The two big questions on the table are: how do we build a really long-lasting auto battery that’s cheaper than the ones now available? And, where will cars be charged? Those who already drive some form of alternatively fuelled (such as a hydrogen fuel cell) motor vehicle want to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions that are contributing to global warming and exacerbating pollution. In the Netherlands, students are doing their bit to create the car of the future. The TU/Ecomotive team at the Eindhoven University of Technology, have built the “Lina”, the world’s first biocomposite car, which seats four people and can reach speeds of 80 km per hour.

The Lina is lightweight: it consists of a core made of polylactic acid (a completely biodegradable resin derived from sugar beets) sandwiched between two flax fibre composite sheets, giving the car a strength-to-weight ratio similar to glass fibre. The team is working on getting the wheels and suspension eco-friendly as well. A major advantage is that the Lina’s battery is small and long-lasting.

 

 

Category: Spring 2017

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