A team of students from Universiti Sains Malaysia decided to take green driving one step further and developed an electric vehicle made from plywood.
While most electric cars are environmentally-friendly because they require no fossil fuels in order to run and therefore do not release carbon gas emissions, this Asian vehicle poses one other major advantage: the wood carving technology employed in making it has virtually no ecological footprint.
The plywood EV entered this year's Shell Eco-Marathon in Asia, where it stood out amongst other 119 green car designs precisely because of its choice of body material.
Energy Collective reports that team manager David Chew explained how, “We chose to use wood because it's strong and biodegradable.”
Naturally, a carpenter had to offer his support and teach them the proper ways to handle the wood, otherwise odds are that the project wouldn't have been this successful.
Apparently, before turning their attention towards this innovative material, the team experimented with using fiberglass, but, as one other member of the team complained when talking to the press: “It's stinky and not biodegradable. Some of us developed rashes after handling it... We don't want to harm ourselves.”
Moreover, fiberglass is more expensive than wood, so it is no wonder that they decided to use the latter.
Interestingly enough, it seems that the vehicle is quite capable of reaching speeds of up to 80 kilometers per hour, which is more than satisfactory given the fact that its designers and manufacturers are, for the time being at least, mere engineering students.
From where we stand, although it is a bit paradoxical that a major drilling company such as Shell took to organizing green-driving competitions, it is nevertheless a good thing that efforts are made to come up with new car concepts that show a greater-than-average concern for the environment.
Down below you have a short video of David Chew talking about his team's plywood EV.