The next 100 years will present humanity with unprecedented opportunities and problems.
Providing clean, sustainable energy and transportation to billions of people is one of the most serious issues confronting humanity, and we will need clever solutions if we are to survive as a species.
And if you ask me, a hydrogen-powered race car made from cardboard and plywood is a great start.
A Car You Can Pack Your Family Into
Cardboard and plywood are two of the most common materials you’ll find in recycling centers and landfills. Both materials are also cheap to produce and sustain, which is what led a team of Aston University college students to build it for the annual Shell Eco-Marathon. The body of the futuristic city car concept is made up largely of cardboard sandwiched between pieces of plywood, creating a lightweight-yet-durable body.
So what’s this about a race car? Well, the Shell Eco-marathon challenges teams from across the globe to travel as far as possible on the equivalent of one-liter of gas. The Aston team uses a hydrogen fuel cell, and combined with the lightweight body, it delivers great, if not quite record-setting fuel efficiency. Another bonus of the Aston team’s design is that the whole car can be folded flat for delivery.
New Ideas Needed
With the number of cars on the road set to quadruple in the next 40 years, the world may find itself seriously lacking in building materials like steel and rubber, sending the costs skyrocketing. A cardboard car sounds silly now, but ideas like this may bear fruit one day. The Shell Eco-marathon Europe already happened, and while the Aston Team didn’t win the fuel efficiency challenge, they did get the Eco-Design award, an accomplishment in and of itself.
Could cardboard cars be the future of automotive design? Tell me your thoughts below in the comments.