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NeilBlanchard 05-24-2017 11:09 AM

Lina - City EV Made from Plants
This is a very interesting new project, that is an EV designed for city driving (up to 80kph), that is extremely lightweight (310kg / <700 pounds) and has 4 seats. Range is up to 80km on just 5.7kWh pack - three 1.9kWh units that can be swapped out in a few minutes.

Cleantron Lina, lightweight, bio-based, City Car for Car Sharing, powered by Cleantron - Cleantron

Would you drive a car made from plants? - BBC News

There is a real car - see the BBC link for a video.

gone-ot 05-24-2017 02:49 PM

A wooden-wonder "MOSQUITO" for the city?

elhigh 05-24-2017 04:16 PM

Would you drive a car made from plants: I already live in a house made from plants, so why not?

Besides, Morgan still uses wood in significant proportion to build their line of cars, there's such things as bamboo bed linens and bicycles, wood-framed furniture galore. I don't think it's a problem for people to get their heads around it.

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 05-24-2017 05:08 PM

Considering that some plastics can be made out of vegetable oils, and eventually use some non-edible crops cultivated at brownfields instead of putting more pressure over the arable land availability for food production, it doesn't sound like a bad idea at all. Using wood-based components in the structure also doesn't seem so bad at all.

cajunfj40 05-25-2017 12:41 PM

Neat, but I have some reservations...
Neat concept. I like the car-sharing concept in general, but without autonomous vehicles it is less useful than a good bus system or taxi system - how do you get to/from the shared car? If you can just park it anywhere, who gets them back to the starting points? The bike shares here have a truck that goes around every once in a while re-balancing the inventory levels at all the racks.

In general I've no issue with the car itself, except for how well it integrates with the existing vehicles on the road here in the USA. 80kph is roughly 50mph, so it can do the "minimum speed limit" on most freeways, and is too fast to be Federally classified as a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle. I'd not take one unless it could be proven to rate at least a MY2000 era 4*/4* crash rating if it can go that fast, but that's my limit - yours may vary. (I'll probably be selling my motorcycle that I've barely ridden - even though it is fun, I just don't trust the other drivers and my reaction times when I can only really use it half the year to keep my skills up.)

Everything I can find about NHTSA laws suggests that a complete kit with power source is a "motor vehicle" and is subject to the NHTSA laws in effect at the time the parts are made. If they want to sell complete kits with motors and not be crash tested, they are limited to 5,000 total vehicles per year manufactured worldwide and the vehicles must resemble a classic car. (2015 law that allows classic replicas. US based manufacturers are limited to 325 per year each.) If there's no power source - read motor here, laws were written when it was engines - it's not a motor vehicle and it is up to the individual states as to how it gets registered/regulated.

Here in MN it would be a "Specially Constructed Vehicle" and I'm having a heck of a time parsing the statutes in terms of safety equipment beyond the usual lighting, brakes, seatbelts, etc. (all of which must meet currently applicable NHTSA/VMSS/DOT regs) plus bumpers. The statute has this: "The commissioner of public safety, pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, may adopt and enforce rules in substantial conformity with federal motor vehicle safety standards established by the United States Secretary of Transportation pursuant to the national Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (Public Law 89-563) with respect to any new motor vehicle or new item of motor vehicle equipment applicable to the same aspect of performance of such new vehicle or new equipment."

That "may" carries a lot of weight, and could easily change while a vehicle is being built.

NeilBlanchard 05-25-2017 01:33 PM

This design is an amazing achievement: the car weighs less than the Edison2 VLC and a lot less than the electric version of the VLC.

samwichse 05-26-2017 08:30 AM

But in the video, its apparent top speed is 15mph. Or at least that's as fast they were willing to drive it.

My guess is, that to make the car a "real car", its weight will go up... a lot.


Fingie 05-26-2017 08:40 AM

cool if you could make a car out of plant-based materials. Easy recycling, if you can keep everything easy to separate from

seifrob 05-26-2017 08:40 AM

I have quite stupid question. Steel frame you can cut to parts and melt with other scrap metal to make steel again. How do you recycle wooden/plywood/wood composite frame, that is probably infused with ton of epoxy resin to add protection against elements?
So is the wooden frame just a pose, or does it have benefits I do not see?

NeilBlanchard 05-26-2017 11:14 AM

Wood grows, and cutting it up is easy; while steel takes a lot of energy to make.

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