Recover E: a Formula E racing car built entirely from e-waste

7th November 2023
Paige West

In an ambitious quest to redefine sustainable innovation in the automotive industry, a unique collaboration between Lazerian and Envision Racing materialised into a project: the creation of a fully functional Gen 3 racing car, constructed entirely from electronic waste, or 'e-waste'.

With an unwavering commitment to eco-conscious practices, the partnership embarked on a simple yet profound challenge: to build an electric race car using only discarded electronic components destined for landfills.

Liam Hopkins, the creative lead at Lazerian, spearheaded this journey. By repurposing electronic refuse, the team engineered a drivable Gen 3 race car, transforming the discarded into the dynamic. Launched at the London E-Prix, this vehicle is more than a mere project; it's a bold statement in the dialogue between technological progress and sustainability.

The initiative began with a rallying cry for electronic waste collection. Contributions flowed in from various sources, including Music Magpie and the Manchester University Society UOMSEI, marking significant milestones towards the project's fruition.

The Lazerian workshop became an alchemist's lab, where every piece of e-waste was meticulously deconstructed to reveal the raw beauty of microchips, circuitry, and wires. These hidden gems became the lifeblood of the race car, with the chassis itself a tapestry woven from the metallic remnants of laptops, tablets, and gaming consoles.

The design of the e-waste race car embodies the deconstruction of electronic devices. The aesthetics from front to rear narrate a tale of uncovering and repurposing. At the vanguard, the vehicle flaunts a front spoiler fashioned from mobile phones, casting an illuminating path forward. Progressing to the central section, the car’s skin reveals the intricacy of circuit boards, reminiscent of urban sprawls, culminating in an envision logo, cleverly integrated into the design through a constellation of illuminated components.

Approaching the rear, the design peels back layers to expose the skeletal frameworks of e-waste, a testament to the potential lying within the discarded.

Notably, during the Formula E World Championship Finals at London's Excel Exhibition Centre, actor Aidan Gallagher took the helm of this e-waste marvel, demonstrating its full capabilities. The chassis, a composite of recycled electronics, paired with a brushless direct drive motor and a robust battery system, allowed the car to zip across the track with vigour and grace.

This project is not merely a pioneering step in sustainable automotive design; it is a poignant reminder of the untapped potential in e-waste. The Gen 3 racing car stands as a symbol of what can be achieved when creativity and environmental consciousness drive innovation.

Through this lens, the e-waste race car is not just a triumph of artistic and engineering prowess but a call to reconsider our relationship with technology and its lifecycle. It exemplifies a future where sustainability is not an afterthought but a foundational component of technological advancement.

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