Student-Led Projects In Hong Kong & Holland Explore The Future Of The Electric Car

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Students at universities around the world are planning today for the cars of tomorrow. At the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, they have created what they call the world’s first fully recyclable car, while at the Institute of Vocational Education in Hong Kong, they have built an electric car that runs on solar energy.

Meet Noah, The World’s Most Sustainable And Recyclable Car

Okay, maybe the Dutch car isn’t 100% recyclable, but Noah, an electric car designed by students at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, is made from 90% sustainable materials such as flax and sugar cane. Its 3D printed chassis and exterior includes a matrix composed of polylactic acid instead of polypropylene, making it nearly 100% recyclable and biodegradable.

According to Manufacturing Global, the car weighs under 1,000 pounds and has an electric powertrain developed by the students that is 97% efficient during acceleration and 100% efficient at constant speed. The optimized powertrain is dubbed “smesh gear” by the students. Those efficiency numbers seem hard to believe, so we will have to wait for more data to assess them accurately. In the meantime, suffice to say that Noah is one of the most efficient vehicles on the planet. Underneath the skin are 6 modular batteries also created by the university to store electricity for the electric motors that power the car.

Solar-Powered Car From Hong Kong

Sophie Solar Powered Car

Students at the Institute of Vocational Education in Hong Kong are devoting their energies to building a solar-powered car. Their creation, called Sophie VI (for solar powered electric vehicle, 6th edition), was unveiled to the public last Sunday. According to a report in the South China Morning Post, Sophie was driven to the Hong Kong Science Museum from the university by some of the students who built the car.

Visitors to the exhibition, which will be ongoing through September, will be able to play a series of interactive games with the materials and parts used to build the car. Michelle Li, director of leisure and cultural services, told an audience at the museum that Sophie will stimulate young people to become interested in innovation and technology. The goal is to inspire them to take up a careers that will helping develop Hong Kong as a smart city.

The sixth generation car is sleeker than its predecessors, thanks to a new magnesium alloy suspension that allows it to sit lower to the ground, reducing wind resistance. It is also 25% lighter than Sophie V, which improves overall efficiency. More fuel-efficient tires means the car can travel further on a given amount of electricity. Solar-powered cars are a small part of the EV spectrum at present, but then again, automatic transmissions were a novelty once and look how that turned out.

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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."

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