Students build first modular car

The world’s first modular car is being unveiled today at a major motor show in Amsterdam, with AkzoNobel having made an important contribution to its development.

The Nova high performance electronic vehicle is built by 26 students at the Eindhoven University of Technology. Bio-fiber reinforced panels on the electronic vehicle were produced using NouryactTM accelerators; AkzoNobel’s innovative curing system enables economical viable production of bio-fiber composites. Bio-fibers are a more sustainable alternative to glass fibers commonly used in the composites industry. While glass fibers are adequate, alternate bio-based reinforcements have proven environmental benefits, while maintaining excellent product properties.

AkzoNobel’s involvement also extended to providing financial support for the project, while the bio-composite panels on the Nova feature a high performance coatings system developed by the company’s Sikkens brand.

On display at the leading AutoRAI event, Nova is designed to be configured to perform in multiple environments. So it’s equally at home as a hyper-efficient city car as it is on the open road (the vehicle’s target energy consumption is equivalent to 800 kilometers per liter of fuel).

‘The students involved in the project, as team TU/ecomotive, are to be commended for the innovative and practical approach they are taking to addressing some of the world’s growing problems – vehicle emissions and waste,’ said Markus Majoor, AkzoNobel’s global market segment leader for the Thermoset business.

‘Their mission is well-aligned to our Planet Possible approach of doing more with less and we are happy to play a role in supporting the team to achieve their goals and advance the conversation about the benefits of high efficiency vehicles.’

Following its participation in the Shell Eco-marathon in Rotterdam in May, the Nova – which has a top speed of around 90kph – will be seen on public roads with official license plates, indicating that it has moved beyond the concept phase.