With the so called “green movement” being the move towards a cleaner future, Toyota took the term “green car” literally. Toyota built the 1/X (pronounced one-Xth), to be shown at the Melbourne International Motor Show in Australia, out of seaweed.
The vehicle is the vision of Toyota Engineer Tetsuya Kaida. He wants to “create such a vehicle from seaweed because Japan is surrounded by the sea. The concept uses high tech materials available today, but is built with the idea of using plant based “eco-plastics” in the future.
The concept’s name comes from its mission of having only a fraction of the environmental footprint of today’s cleanest cars. In that regard, the 1/X uses a plug-in hybrid powertrain with flexible fuel technology allowing it to run on a mixture of ethanol and gasoline. The engine is only 500 cc and is combined with an electric motor of unspecified output. The car only weighs 880 lbs, approximately one-third the weight of cars in its class. This greatly aids the cars quest for fuel economy.
Toyota believes cars like this are at least a decade away, but may be made out of everything from eco-plastics to paper. “In the future, I’m sure we will have access to new and better materials, such as those made from plants- something natural, maybe something like paper.” The idea of the 1/X is to show the use of alternative materials to make the production of cars “greener” as well, not only the fuel usage.